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Ant Group updates AI assistants

Source: Ant Group

On July 4, Ant Group unveiled major updates of its AI-powered services and technologies at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2024 (WAIC 2024).

These include the showcase of the three flagship smart assistants on the Alipay app and technologies that identify AI-generated deepfake content and enable large-scale deployment and applications of AI.

1. Three Flagship Smart Assistants on the Alipay App

Ant Group displayed its three flagship smart assistants built on the self-developed BaiLing Foundation Model:
* Alipay Smart Assistant: This smart life assistant brings a new AI-powered user interface for Alipay. The Alipay Smart Assistant serves as a gateway to all kinds of digital life services hosted on Alipay’s platform such as travel, shopping, and healthcare. For instance, users can simply tell the assistant, "I want to order a tall iced latte from Starbucks," and the assistant will place the order through Starbucks’ Alipay mini-program, with easy pick-up at nearby stores.
* Zhixiaobao: As an AI-powered smart financial manager, Zhixiaobao specializes in personal investment and insurance, offering tools for market analysis and portfolio management, while making insurance underwriting and claims simpler. As of July 2024, Zhixiaobao has served 43 million individuals via the Ant Fortune and Ant Insurance platforms in the Alipay app.
* Angel: As an AI-enabled smart healthcare manager, Angel uses augmented reality technologies to assist users with hospital visits through navigation support, and step by step guide. It can continue to provide medical advice via AI chat after the hospital visit. Piloted at Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, it reduced reception desk inquiries by 50% and is now being implemented in more hospitals and medical institutions across China.
2. Tools to Combat Deepfake
Ant Group showcased cutting-edge tools to identify AI-generated deepfake content, which can mitigate the potential risks associated with the abuse of AI technology, such as deepfake videos, voice forgery, and document alteration. Supporting these tools is a sophisticated generative engine with a vast database containing millions of exemplars, specifically designed for real-time adversarial testing. The tools can help users recognize altered or synthetically produced content.
3. Technologies for Large-Scale Application of AI

Ant Group also showcased new technologies that help promote the large-scale deployment and applications of AI.
* Gemini AI Inference Framework: Developed by Ant Group, Gemini is an advanced End-Edge-Cloud collaborative AI inference framework, which is engineered to lower implementation and operation costs, enhance the human-machine interaction experience, and bolster user privacy protection. Powered by Gemini and equipped with nuanced natural language understanding from large language models, the Alipay Smart Assistant facilitates a one-click connection to the extensive Alipay mini-program ecosystem, providing users with a comprehensive set of practical services.
* Enhanced Multimodal Capabilities of BaiLing Foundation Model: The model can now perceive and interact more like humans, supporting multimodal understanding and generation of audio, visual, graphic, and textual content. These advanced capabilities will be applied to Ant Group’s AI products including the Alipay Smart Assistant in the future.
* Green Computing Technologies for High-Efficient AI Applications: Ant Group is accelerating the implementation of green computing technologies to improve the energy-efficiency of heterogeneous computing systems. Initiatives include DLRover for large-scale intelligent distributed training, which uses techniques such as self-healing from training failures to greatly enhance the stability of large model training, achieving an effective training uptime of over 97% for the cluster; and GLake for optimizing GPU memory and transmission, which uses integrated memory optimization and global memory pooling technologies to reduce training memory requirements by 2 to 10 times.

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