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Zoho is set to compete with OpenAI and Google by developing a new AI model, with oversight from Sridhar Vembu

Indian software-as-a-service (SaaS) giant Zoho is in the process of developing its own large language model (LLM), akin to OpenAI’s GPT and Google’s PaLM 2 models. The initiative is under the direct supervision of the company’s founder and CEO, Sridhar Vembu, and is being executed by the research and development (R&D) team based in India.

Zoho, with a decade-long history in artificial intelligence (AI), has recently ventured into the integration of ChatGPT, catering to customer demands. Praval Singh, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience at Zoho, explained during a June 14 event in Delhi that the company responded to customer needs by integrating ChatGPT with 13 of its applications. While this integration has been realized in the short term, Zoho is concurrently working on developing proprietary large language models capable of summarizing, paraphrasing, and adapting to new tasks. However, the company has not specified a definitive timeline for the completion of this project.



Zoho is readying AI model to take on Google, OpenAI
Zoho is readying AI model to take on Google, OpenAI

The announcement from Zoho about its endeavor to build LLMs coincided with a controversy stemming from a statement made by OpenAI’s founder and CEO, Sam Altman. Altman remarked that it would be “hopeless” for an Indian startup with $10 million in funding to embark on the development of a foundational LLM. Although Altman later clarified that his statement had been taken out of context, it triggered a response from Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani, who interpreted Altman’s remark as a “challenge.”

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar weighed in on the matter, asserting that Sam Altman’s views do not represent the final word on India’s AI aspirations. He emphasized that there will be many areas where he disagrees with the founder of ChatGPT, a widely popular chatbot developed by OpenAI.

Zoho’s foray into developing LLMs aligns with the broader trend of companies and institutions globally engaging in the creation and deployment of advanced language models. These models, with their natural language processing capabilities, are increasingly integrated into various applications and services, enhancing user experiences and providing more sophisticated AI-driven solutions.

As Zoho progresses with its LLM project, the company aims to position itself as a significant player in the evolving landscape of AI technologies. The development of proprietary large language models underscores Zoho’s commitment to advancing its capabilities and staying at the forefront of innovation in the SaaS and AI domains.

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