Beijing Zhipuu Huazhang Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (Zhipu AI), an early pioneer in large-scale language models (LLM) in China, develops Sora-like technologies as a means to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI). He emphasized the country's ambition to catch up with the United States. progress.

OpenAI's text-to-video generator, Sora, is expected to be generally available later this year, allowing many companies in China that cannot directly take advantage of OpenAI's Microsoft-backed ChatGPT to take advantage of recent U.S. advances. are urged to step up efforts to catch up. field.

“First of all, we're not surprised by Sora's arrival, but secondly, we're working on it.” [similar technology]'' Zhang Peng, CEO of Beijing-based Zhipu AI, was quoted as saying this week by local media outlet TMTPost.

Zhang praised Sora's multimodal capabilities as “very cutting edge” and acknowledged the current technological gap between Sora and similar Chinese efforts.

“Sora has experienced gradual strengthening, but there are still gaps [it] And we need to continue our efforts,'' Zhang said in the report.

Promising Chinese startup to rival OpenAI's Sora raises $14 million

Zhipu was one of the first Chinese companies to consider developing LLM, the technology behind OpenAI's ChatGPT and similar services. It was founded in June 2019 by a group of computer science researchers from the prestigious Tsinghua University, a year before the release of the GPT-3 LLM series by OpenAI.

The company was founded based on research by Tsinghua University's Knowledge Engineering Group (KEG). Zhang holds a PhD in the school's computer science department and was a member of KEG's core team.

Zhipu announced in October that it had raised a total of 2.5 billion yuan (US$342 million). The company is backed by a number of Chinese big tech and venture capital (VC) firms, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which owns Post, Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan and Xiaomi.

VC backers include HongShan (formerly Sequoia China) and Hillhouse Capital's VC arm GL Ventures.

Zhipu's answer to ChatGPT is called ChatGLM and was released last March. This was one of his first batch of generative AI services approved by the Chinese government for public release.

The Chinese government has kept generative AI services thin, requiring all local services to apply for permits before going public, and restricting the use of foreign chatbots.

At the same time, some of the world's leading AI startups, such as OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and Europe's Mistral AI, have not made their products available on the mainland.

According to a report by TMTPost, Zhang is looking forward to partnering with foreign companies on AI technology and is eyeing the overseas market.

“Global expansion is a very important strategy…For us as a Chinese company, overseas expansion is very important. [of China] This will be a very important milestone,” said Zhang.

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