Alibaba's (BABA) DAMO Academy Unveils LLMs for Southeast Asia

Alibaba BABA boosts generative AI efforts through its research institute called DAMO Academy, which introduced two large language models (LLMs), SeaLLM and SeaLLM-chat, a conversationally fine-tuned version.
These models, available in two sizes, such as 13 billion and 7 billion parameters, have the capability to process various local languages, including Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Malay, Khmer, Lao, Tagalog and Burmese.

On the back of the latest move, Alibaba strives to capitalize on the growing demand for linguistically relevant LLMs in Southeast Asian countries. Notably, Singapore has allocated a $52 million artificial intelligence (AI) initiative to enhance research and engineering capabilities in multi-modal LLMs.

Trained in a diverse array of Southeast Asian languages, SeaLLM exhibits an impressive capacity to interpret and process text, demonstrating capabilities up to nine times greater than models like ChatGPT for non-Latin languages.

The company aims to capture the linguistic and cultural diversity of Southeast Asia with SeaLLM and SeaLLM-chat.

Notably, these LLMs will likely gain a competitive edge against those developed in Western countries and trained on datasets that are based on languages derived from English and Latin roots.

This AI chatbot is expected to attract many customers and boost the company’s top line in the fiscal year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BABA’s fiscal 2024 revenues is pegged at $133.01 billion, indicating year-over-year growth of 5.52%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $9.12 per share, indicating year-over-year growth of 14.86%.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited Price and Consensus

Alibaba Group Holding Limited Price and Consensus

Alibaba Group Holding Limited price-consensus-chart | Alibaba Group Holding Limited Quote

Growing Generative AI Efforts

Apart from the latest move, Alibaba recently unveiled the latest iteration of its AI model, namely Tongyi Qianwen 2.0.

Additionally, it introduced AI models tailored for specific industries and purposes, such as legal counseling and finance, as part of its targeted approach toward various business sectors.

Furthermore, the company revealed the GenAI Service Platform, enabling businesses to construct their own generative AI applications by utilizing their proprietary data. This initiative addresses concerns that enterprises often harbor regarding public generative AI products like ChatGPT, where there is apprehension about potential access to data by third parties.
All these endeavors are likely to bolster Alibaba’s footprint in the booming generative AI market. This, in turn, will likely instill investor optimism in the stock.

According to a report by The Allied Market Research, this particular market is anticipated to reach $191.8 billion by 2032 by registering a CAGR of 34.1% between 2023 and 2032.

Competitive Scenario in the Generative AI Market

However, Alibaba is currently facing stiff competition from tech giants like Microsoft MSFT, Amazon AMZN and Alphabet GOOGL, which are also making concerted efforts to boost their generative AI capabilities.

Shares of BABA, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), have lost 19% year to date against the industry’s growth of 48.9%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Microsoft, propelled by the success of ChatGPT, is making significant strides by integrating OpenAI's latest LLM, GPT-4, into its Bing search engine and Edge browser. Additionally, Microsoft Azure provides the Azure OpenAI Service, facilitating the seamless application of LLMs and generative AI techniques across various applications.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s AWS recently announced the general availability of its fully managed service called Amazon Bedrock. It provides seamless access to high-performing foundation models from AI companies through an API. The company also made the Amazon Titan Embeddings model generally available. It added Meta’s Llama 2 to Amazon Bedrock as a new model, which will be available through API.

The e-commerce giant’s investment plans in Anthropic remain noteworthy. Amazon will invest $4 billion to acquire a minority stake in Anthropic.

On the other hand, Alphabet’s Google is experiencing notable success with its chatbot, Bard.

Also, it recently launched its new, advanced, and powerful LLM, namely Gemini.

Gemini is available in three different sizes, Gemini Ultra, which is its largest and most capable one; Gemini Pro, which is designed to offer scalability across various applications; and Gemini Nano, which is designed for specific tasks and mobile devices.

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