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Ant Group Unveils AI Language Model to Expand in Financial Sector

Updated: Jan 8

Ant Group, the Chinese fintech giant, has announced the launch of its own large language model (LLM) and a new Web3 brand as part of its efforts to enhance its capabilities in generative artificial intelligence (AI) for the financial services industry.

Ant Group
Credits: Reuters

The company unveiled its self-developed "financial LLM" at the "Inclusion Conference on the Bund" event in Shanghai. Ant Group's LLM has already outperformed "mainstream general-purpose LLMs" in terms of financial scenarios.

The Hangzhou-based company has transformed its entire fintech business using the power of its AI large language model. Ant Group's financial LLM has been used to upgrade Zhixiaobao, the firm's consumer-facing "intelligent financial assistant" for wealth management and insurance. It has also helped build Zhixiaozhu, an application that assists finance practitioners in areas such as investment research, insurance and marketing.

Ant Group's foray into the LLM arena highlights the increasing competition among China's Big Tech firms to catch up with the West in utilising generative AI. Other major Chinese tech companies like Baidu, Huawei Technologies, Tencent Holdings and Alibaba have also introduced their own LLMs for adoption in various industries.

In addition to the AI language model, Ant Group has launched a new Web3 brand called ZAN, targeting Hong Kong and overseas markets. ZAN, led by Zhang Hui, the former chief technology officer of AntChain, will provide blockchain application development services for both institutional and individual Web3 developers.

Web3 refers to the decentralised and distributed version of the World Wide Web that utilises blockchain and similar technologies.

Ant Group's focus on Web3 technologies aligns with its pivot towards hard tech after facing regulatory scrutiny in 2020. The company has doubled down on Web3 through its unit, AntChain, which focuses on blockchain, Internet of Things, data analytics and intelligent risk management.

While mainland China has taken a cautious approach to Web3 and banned cryptocurrencies, Hong Kong has actively promoted the concept to bolster its fintech credentials. The city's Financial Secretary, Paul Chan Mo-po, has allocated HK$50 million in the 2023-24 budget to accelerate the development of the Web3 ecosystem. Hong Kong has also collaborated with the municipal government of Hangzhou, the hometown of Alibaba and Ant Group, in various technology innovation and Web3 initiatives.

Ant Group believes that technical services are crucial in the Web3 industry and aims to work with partners to address core issues in Web3 development. The company's expansion into AI language models and Web3 demonstrates its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the financial sector.

  • Ant Group has launched its own large language model (LLM) and a new Web3 brand.

  • The financial LLM outperforms mainstream LLMs in financial scenarios.

  • Ant Group's LLM has been used to upgrade its intelligent financial assistant and develop applications for finance practitioners.

Source: SCMP

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