Biz / Tech

China-developed ChatGPT-like services accessible for the public

Zhu Shenshen
With approval for public release issued on August 15, Chinese firms creating generative AI tools are releasing a number of practical apps and software available on the open market.
Zhu Shenshen

A batch of China-developed generative AI tools, with ChatGPT-like functions, are open to the public and receiving a warm market response, Shanghai Daily learned on Wednesday.

The tools, mainly integrated in chatbot services and smart devices, are offered by giants like Baidu and ByteDance, and vertical AI and Internet service providers like Kingsoft Office, iFlytek and SenseTime.

They can conduct document generation, automatic translation, as well as image creation and optimization features. It's seen as a milestone in the generative AI sector as the services are not just available to organizations and enterprises, but also millions of netizens.

China-developed ChatGPT-like services accessible for the public
Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors at the WAIC in Shanghai come to the Kingsoft Office booth to test the WPS AI service.

AI Chatbots, such as Baidu's ERNIE Bot and ChatGPT, are trained on a massive amount of data with the goal of generating human-like responses to natural language questions and prompts. Therefore, more users will bring more data required to improve the AI models, experts said.

Chinese chatbots are kept rolling out starting August 31, after the companies got regulatory approvals for public release on August 15.

On Tuesday, STAR-listed Kingsoft Office announced that its WPS AI is officially open to the pubic. It offers online content collaboration and editing features, supporting content generation, expression optimization, document comprehension and processing. For example, it can "generate" brainstorming, press releases, weekly reports, job announcements and event planning within seconds with WPS AI.

As a counterpart of Microsoft's Office in China, WPS serves 584 million monthly active devices globally. As China's first landed generative AI application in a collaborative office track, it brings a "disruptive change" to office software.

"The function will be realized directly as the AI tools are told," said Kingsoft Office chief executive Zhang Qingyuan.

China-developed ChatGPT-like services accessible for the public
Ti Gong

iFlytek's AI tool, now open to the public, generates a cat picture based on users' text prompts.

Shenzhen-listed iFlytek announced on Tuesday that it has gained 1 million new users, within 14 hours after its AI tools debuted this week.

Besides online AI services, iFlytek has integrated AI into smart devices, covering recorders, translators and office tablet devices, making AI more direct to consumers.

"We want to make the AI assistant accessible to everyone, to change people's daily life," said Liu Qingfeng, iFlytek's chairman.

Users can also develop their own exclusive AI assistants based on iFlytek's AI models, covering workplace, marketing, traveling, life and customer service.

Meanwhile, AI helps iFlytek improve multi-language recognition and translation, its core business, even in offline modes. Currently, it supports AI-powered translation in 168 languages, including 16 languages during offline mode usage.

On August 31, Baidu and SenseTime released AI chatbot services to the general public, as the first batch of Chinese firms to release the services.

The service can be accessed from various app stores and through its official website. Currently, Baidu's ERNIE Bot, ranks the No.3 in the Efficiency category in Apple China's App Store.

Fueled by ChatGPT and similar services, global generative AI market revenue will grow 42 percent annually over the next decade, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Special Reports