Alibaba CEO Says AI and User Experience Are Top Priorities
Alibaba Group’s new CEO, Eddie Wu, has reportedly elevated artificial intelligence (AI) and user experience to be the company’s top priorities moving forward.
As Alibaba faces competition in the eCommerce industry, the company must adjust its approach and become AI-first, Wu said in a memo to staff, Bloomberg reported Tuesday (Sept. 12).
Wu said that the disruptions brought about by AI will be “the most significant change agent” in the next 10 years across all sectors, according to the report. With rivals like Baidu investing in AI, Alibaba recognizes the importance of keeping up with the changes of the AI era.
To reinforce its commitment to AI, Alibaba plans to make strategic investments in AI-driven tech businesses, internet platforms and its global commerce network, the report said. The company aims to reclaim customers and market share by leveraging the power of AI.
While Alibaba has been striving to become a leader in AI, it was not among the first group of companies to receive regulatory approvals for offering generative AI services in China, per the report. However, the company has made notable integrations of the technology into its meeting and messaging apps.
Wu became both group CEO and head of the cloud unit at Alibaba Sunday (Sept. 10) upon the resignation of Daniel Zhang. The cloud unit is the largest cloud provider in China and is due to be spun off from Alibaba as the company restructures.
In one of the company’s latest developments in the field of AI, Alibaba Cloud unveiled two open-source AI models Aug. 25 that can understand both images and text.
The launch of these new models demonstrates Alibaba Cloud’s commitment to advancing multi-modal capabilities for generative AI, the company said when announcing the development. By incorporating sensory inputs like images and audio, Alibaba Cloud aims to explore new applications for researchers and commercial organizations.
When reporting its quarterly sales Aug. 10, Alibaba said its cloud business reported revenue growth of 4% amid “strong demand” for training AI models and related services. The company has been focusing on cloud computing as an offering that is relevant to all industries.