Tencent latest to join China’s GenAI race with foundation model for enterprises


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Tencent is the latest player to hop on China’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) bandwagon, offering its foundation model on which local organizations can test and build their own applications.

Called Hunyuan, the large language model can be accessed via APIs on Tencent’s cloud platform. Chinese enterprises can tweak the model to fit their specific requirements, tapping capabilities that include Chinese language processing and advanced logic reasoning, Tencent said.

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The foundation AI model also facilitates a range of functions, such as image creation, text recognition, and copywriting. The Chinese cloud vendor is touting Hunyuan as a platform for various industries, including finance, e-commerce, transport, and games. 

The AI model currently has more than 100 billion parameters and more than two trillion tokens in pre-training data. 

Tencent said it has integrated Hunyuan with 50 of its own products, spanning its fintech, advertising, games, office productivity, and search applications. 

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Tencent Meeting, for example, now offers an AI assistant that can carry out common tasks, such as generating minutes from a meeting, via natural language processing and user prompts. Its advertising tools can also be used to create shopping guides that retailers can tap as marketing assets. 

“In launching Hunyuan and making it available to domestic enterprises, Tencent has opted for an approach that balances the exciting performance of consumer-facing, large-model AI powered chatbots, with the pragmatic need for the business community to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, protect privacy as well as proprietary data,” said Dowson Tong, Tencent’s senior executive vice president of cloud and smart industries. 

The tech giant is among a growing list of domestic players that are heating up China’s generative AI market, which now includes Baidu, JD.com, and Alibaba Cloud

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JD.com’s ChatRhino also boasts a base of 100 billion parameters, up from the 10 billion-parameter benchmark clocked by its previous model Vega early last year. Vega had led the General Language Understanding Evaluation (GLUE) list, outpacing models from Microsoft and Facebook, according to JD.com.

Alibaba Cloud’s Tongyi Qianwen is available to its domestic customers for beta testing as well as to developers via an API. The Chinese cloud vendor also introduced a partnership program in the hope of fuelling the development of AI applications for verticals, including finance, and petrochemicals. 

The accelerated drive toward AI comes amid interim regulations in China, which were pushed out to ensure the healthy development of the technology and safeguard both national security and public interests, the Chinese government said. 

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Effective from August 15, the interim legislation outlines various measures that aim to facilitate these objectives, including steps to be taken to improve the quality of training data, such as its accuracy, objectivity, and diversity. 

Generative AI service providers also assume legal responsibility for the information generated and its security, and they must sign service-level agreements with users of their service, clarifying each party’s rights and obligations.


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