The Bright Side of AI #8: Alibaba's AI Innovations, AI's Role in Job Quality, and the Rise of Arabic AI with Jais
Day in and day out, AI is shaking up our everyday lives, for better or worse. But today, no bad news: Welcome to The Bright Side of AI #8.
Alibaba shows no signs of slowing down in the AI game. The Chinese tech behemoth is diving headfirst into the AI landscape with the unveiling of its two groundbreaking models, Qwen-VL and Qwen-VL-Chat. Originating from its cloud division, these AI models are engineered to comprehend images and engage in more intricate conversations, marking a pivotal leap in conversational tech.
Qwen-VL is notable for its prowess in answering open-ended questions related to various images, while Qwen-VL-Chat takes it up a notch by facilitating "more complex interactions".
For instance, the AI can decipher a hospital sign in Chinese and offer details about the whereabouts of different hospital services. Even more astonishing, Qwen-VL-Chat can craft stories, generate images from user-provided photos, and even solve math equations depicted in an image.
This move is particularly strategic for Alibaba as it aims to fuel growth in its cloud division ahead of its IPO. By open-sourcing these models, Alibaba is extending an invitation to researchers, academics, and businesses to build their own AI applications, thereby conserving time and resources.
As AI keeps revolutionizing various industries, from healthcare to hospitality, Alibaba remains a key contender in propelling this technology forward.
The ripple effect of generative AI on the job market is a hot-button issue, and a recent study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) offers some nuanced insights.
Contrary to popular belief that AI is a job killer, the study suggests that this tech could actually expand job opportunities. Indeed, the automation driven by generative AI, like ChatGPT, aims not to supplant humans but to augment their skills.
The report emphasizes that the real hurdle is the quality of jobs that will undergo transformation. For instance, the administrative sector is particularly vulnerable to this shift, raising concerns about work intensity and employee autonomy.
Moreover, the study underscores disparities based on gender and economic development levels of countries. Women, often overrepresented in office jobs, could be disproportionately impacted by this automation.
However, the report stresses that the outcomes of this tech revolution are not preordained. Public policy will be instrumental in ensuring a fair transition.
The AI landscape has hit a significant milestone with the launch of Jais, an open-source Arabic language learning model. Developed by Inception, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based G42, in collaboration with Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Silicon Valley's Cerebras Systems, Jais is touted as a monumental breakthrough in generative AI.
Boasting 13 billion parameters and trained on a multi-exaFLOP AI supercomputer, it's poised to disrupt various sectors, from government to finance to healthcare.
What sets Jais apart is its capability to understand and generate content in Arabic, including its diverse regional dialects. This is especially noteworthy given that a mere 1% of Arabic content is currently online, according to Dr. Andrew Jackson, CEO of Inception.
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