iFlytek unveils latest version of its large language model
Visitors gather at the booth of iFlytek during the Smart China Expo in Chongqing on Aug 27. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Chinese high-tech company iFlytek unveiled the latest version of its large language model (LLM) SparkDesk on Tuesday, with its overall capability seeing substantial improvement.
"With continuous improvements in the past months, Spark-Desk V3.0 displays an overall capability that is stronger than ChatGPT, according to a test and evaluation report by the Guoyan Institute of Economic Research," said Liu Qingfeng, founder and chairman of iFlytek.
The institute is affiliated with the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's Cabinet.
Liu made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the iFlytek Global Developer Festival 2023 in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province, where the company is headquartered.
He said the model's core capability is evaluated in seven dimensions — text generation, language understanding, Q&A knowledge, logical reasoning, mathematic ability, coding ability and multimodal ability.
As AI technology depends greatly on computing power, the company has collaborated closely with Huawei in the past months.
During Tuesday's event, which was co-presented by Huawei's rotating Chairman Xu Zhijun, the two firms launched a jointly developed computing power platform, Feixing No 1, to support more LLMs.
The new platform is based on Huawei's Ascend Computing, an all-scenario AI infrastructure, according to the companies.
SparkDesk has been widely touted as a Chinese-language alternative to ChatGPT after it became accessible to designated users for testing in April and was officially launched in May.
The model was officially available to the public in early September after the service was approved by relevant central authorities.
It ranked first among the domestic mainstream models evaluation list released by Xinhua News Agency's Chinese Enterprise Development Research Center.
As part of the developers' event, more than 34,000 teams from 278 cities from nine countries participated in the 2023 iFlytek AI Developer Competition.
Senior local officials participating in the event said iFlytek has been a great long-term contributor to the local economy.
Since 2012, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Anhui provincial government have been developing China Speech Valley, a high-tech industrial park in Hefei, into a major hub for the AI industry.
As the largest company in the park, iFlytek made its technology accessible to developers from around the world through its open online platforms since 2010.
"Since May 6, when SparkDesk was launched, the number of global developer teams using our open platforms has increased by 1.43 million," said Liu.
"By the end of 2022, a total of 2,005 firms had been founded in the valley, with their main business operation revenue totaling 205 billion yuan ($28.05 billion)," said Pan Feng, chief economist of the Anhui provincial government's industry and information technology department during a news conference last week.