Alibaba Cloud launches AI image generation model, Tongyi Wanxiang

Alibaba Cloud launches AI image generation model, Tongyi Wanxiang Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


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Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, has unveiled its latest AI image generation model, Tongyi Wanxiang (‘Wanxiang’ means ‘tens of thousands of images’).

The cutting-edge generative AI model is now available for enterprise customers in China for beta testing.

In addition, the cloud pioneer announced the launch of ModelScopeGPT, a versatile framework designed to assist users in accomplishing complex and specialised AI tasks across language, vision, and speech domains by leveraging various AI models on ModelScope. ModelScope is an open-source Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform introduced by Alibaba Cloud last year, featuring over 900 AI models.

“Tongyi Wanxiang represents another significant milestone in our pursuit of advanced generative AI models as we continue to explore paradigm-shifting technologies that empower businesses and communities to unleash greater creativity and productivity,” said Jingren Zhou, CTO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

“With the release of Tongyi Wanxiang, high-quality generative AI imagery will become more accessible, facilitating the development of innovative AI art and creative expressions for businesses across a wide range of sectors, including e-commerce, gaming, design and advertising.”

Introducing Tongyi Wanxiang for Image Generation

The generative AI model is adept at handling various tasks, responding to text prompts in Chinese and English to generate detailed images in an array of styles, encompassing watercolours, oil and Chinese painting to animation, sketch, flat illustration, and 3D cartoons. Moreover, the model can transform any image into a new one with a similar style and stylise images through style transfer, which preserves the content of the original image while applying the visual style of another picture.

Powered by Alibaba Cloud’s trailblazing technologies in knowledge arrangement, visual AI and natural language processing (NLP), the model leverages multilingual materials for enhanced training. It boasts a robust semantic comprehension capability, resulting in more accurate and contextually relevant image generation.

Additionally, by optimising the high-resolution diffusion process based on the signal-to-noise ratio, the model can strike a balance between composition accuracy and detail sharpness while enhancing its ability to generate high-contrast, visually stunning images with clean backgrounds.

Tongyi Wanxiang was developed using Composer, Alibaba Cloud’s proprietary large model that enables greater control over the final image output, such as spatial layout and palette, while maintaining image synthesis quality and creativity.

Text-to-image generation examples by Tongyi Wanxiang:

Picture a cityscape at twilight, a world merging modern architecture with the evocative aesthetics of anime.

Beautiful nature superimposed into an infinite loop sign with bright colours.

Immersive, captivating, grayscale coloring, featuring a tiger in the tranquil mandala forest. The image is composed of lines and brushstrokes.

A six-year-old girl’s beautiful and exquisite Chinese-style Hanfu is displayed in front of a clothes rack, medium close-up, 85mm lens.

ModelScopeGPT Launched for Sophisticated AI Tasks

Alibaba Cloud also unveiled ModelScopeGPT, a powerful framework designed to harnesses the power of Large Language Models (LLMs) available on the platform. ModelScopeGPT will use LLMs as a controller to connect an extensive array of domain-specific expert models in the ModelScope open-source community. Built within the rich Model-as-a-Service ecosystem, ModelScopeGPT leverages the various AI capabilities offered on Alibaba Cloud. Enterprises and developers can leverage ModelScopeGPT for free to access and execute the best-suited models for performing sophisticated AI tasks based on users’ requests, such as developing multilingual videos.

Alibaba Cloud launched its LLM named Tongyi Qianwen in April, and it plans to integrate the LLM across Alibaba’s various businesses in order to improve the user experience in the near future. The company’s customers and developers will also have access to the model to create customised AI features in a cost-effective way. Since the model’s launch, over 300,000 beta testing requests were received from enterprises from a broad range of sectors, including fintech, electronics, transport, fashion and dairy.

Tongyi Qianwen has also been integrated into Alibaba Cloud’s intelligent assistant, Tingwu, enabling the assistant to comprehend and analyze multimedia content with high levels of accuracy and efficiency. Over 360,000 users have accessed to the AI-powered assistant since its launch.

AI Hackathon Competition to Inspire Innovation

ModelScope also hosted its first ever AI Hackathon in China to facilitate the industrial applications of AI models, with cash prize awards and funding opportunities from leading venture capital firms as incentives.

From over 300 participating teams, 56 teams made it to the final round. Participants competed for the grand prize on two tracks. One is to innovate upon a large language model to solve a real-life problem. The second is to leverage existing pretrained models to complete an assigned task, such as text-to-image generation or to build an LLM-powered autonomous agent to utilise the right models for specific tasks.

“By hosting competitions and other community events, we want to engage with more developers and entrepreneurs, and to encourage them to bring their ideas to life, unlock productivity, and create more versatile AI tools that transform and shape the future of our industries,” said Zhou.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

  • Duncan MacRaeDuncan MacRae

    Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

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Tags: AI, Alibaba Cloud, China

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