Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, announced in April 2023 the initiation and testing of the country’s premier model named GigaChat, set to rival ChatGPT.
What is GigaChat?
At its essence, GigaChat is simply another chatbot supported by a large language model. Yet, it sets itself apart in the bustling AI landscape by offering distinct features and capabilities.
It’s important to note that “GigaChat” is different from “GigaChad” – a term from the Urban Dictionary denoting a physically fit, tall, and dominant alpha male, often depicted in internet memes as an altered digital image of Ernest Khalimov, a celebrated Russian bodybuilder and fitness model.
The unique selling point of this tool, according to Sberbank, is its exceptional ability to converse in Russian, making it a superior choice for native Russian speakers. It has been crafted with the specific aim to outshine other foreign AI models in the Russian language interaction.
How does GigaChat work?
The CEO of Sberbank has celebrated GigaChat as “a breakthrough for the larger universe of Russian technology.”
Although the bank hasn’t disclosed the technological intricacies of GigaChat, it’s understood that the model is proficient in Russian and possesses multimodal capabilities, giving it a competitive edge over ChatGPT. GigaChat is capable of answering questions, participating in discussions, crafting software programming codes, and even generating images. However, the platform isn’t currently equipped to manage prolonged dialogues in foreign languages.
What sets this Russian-based chatbot contender apart, according to Sberbank, is its unique ability to produce both text and images, unlike ChatGPT, which is restricted to text generation. As of now, this tool has been made available to a select group of testers who can enroll via a private Telegram channel, The Moscow Times reports.
The CEO of Sberbank pointed out that GigaChat can serve not only tech enthusiasts but also students and researchers for significant academic pursuits:
“It’s important to note that GigaChat can be used not only by those who love to experiment with new technologies, but also by students, and even researchers for serious scientific work.”
This tool represents the second AI conversational companion launched in Russia in recent times. Sistemma, a Moscow-based IT company, unveiled its own competitor to ChatGPT, named SistemmaGPT, last month.
Sistemma’s AI language model, designed specifically for Russian businesses and governmental bodies, operates solely on domestic servers and in the Russian language. The developers at Sistemma claim that its generative pre-transformer (GPT) mirrors the features of ChatGPT-3.5 and boasts “encyclopedic knowledge.”
The firm plans to initiate testing for its chatbot in the upcoming summer.
Is ChatGPT available in Russia?
With the rise in prominence of ChatGPT since last November, it was blocked in the Kremlin due to concerns over disinformation and potential misuse for criminal activities. OpenAI, the Microsoft-supported startup behind ChatGPT, revealed at its debut that it had restricted Russian users from using the tool.
On the other hand, Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has been investing heavily in advanced technology over recent years. Yet, it faced considerable financial setbacks due to the decrease in exports, Western sanctions, and the disconnection from the EU’s SWIFT payment network following Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Sberbank holds a positive view that GigaChat will solidify both the bank and Russia’s positions as constant contributors in the global AI technology advancement arena.
Unique features of GigaChat
GigaChat, developed by Sberbank, brings unique features to the table, setting it apart from its competition. The most notable characteristics of GigaChat lie in its multimodal capabilities, intelligent communication in Russian, and a customizable analytics tool.
GigaChat’s multimodal features offer it a clear advantage over its counterparts like ChatGPT that are limited to text. One of the distinct attributes of GigaChat is its ability to generate images, an aspect not currently possessed by ChatGPT. This feature can be significantly advantageous for businesses, particularly for marketing endeavors where visual representation can impact consumer perception and engagement.
Equally noteworthy is GigaChat’s intelligent communication in Russian. According to Sberbank, GigaChat surpasses other foreign neural networks in its ability to communicate effectively in Russian. This characteristic could be crucial for businesses aiming to connect with Russian-speaking customers or clients, enhancing the user experience through language optimization.
Lastly, the incorporation of a customizable analytics tool cements GigaChat’s position as a cost-effective solution for businesses. This tool can be tailored to address various business needs, ranging from lead generation to customer support, demonstrating GigaChat’s adaptability in different operational contexts.
To summarize, the unique features of GigaChat include:
- Multimodal capabilities, including image generation, that surpass the text-only limitations of ChatGPT.
- Superior intelligent communication in Russian, offering an edge over other foreign neural networks.
- A customizable analytics tool, offering a cost-effective solution tailored to fit different business needs.
ChatGPT vs GigaChat
ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, has gained broad recognition as a powerful AI chatbot. This technology’s prowess stems from its extensive training on a substantial corpus of text data, enabling it to converse on a wide spectrum of subjects. However, while ChatGPT excels in text generation, it has one significant limitation – it lacks the ability to produce images. This shortcoming confines the chatbot to text-based interactions and responses, which might limit its utility in contexts requiring multimodal communication.
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GigaChat, on the other hand, emerges as a worthy competitor to ChatGPT. Developed by Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, GigaChat aims to address the drawbacks of its rival. Notably, this tool is trained in Russian and is equipped with multimodal features, providing it with a potential edge over ChatGPT, particularly in contexts requiring more than text-based responses. Russian counterpart of ChatGPT also includes an adaptable analytics tool, which could potentially make it a cost-effective solution for businesses, providing an additional layer of value to its users.
Will GigaChat succeed?
While ChatGPT continues to reign as a global powerhouse in the generative AI chatbot market, it’s far from alone in the arena. Numerous competitors are vying for their own share of the spotlight. Among them, Google’s Bard and LLaMa 2 have been making their presence felt with their unique capabilities.
However, this summer could witness a new player stirring the waters. Sberbank’s tool, the Russian counterpart to ChatGPT, is set to take its first step into the global AI chatbot market. With a specific focus on the Russian-speaking demographic and unique features like multimodal capabilities and a customizable analytics tool, GigaChat is poised to bring a fresh perspective to the table.
The AI chatbot landscape is constantly evolving, and competition tends to drive innovation. Will GigaChat disrupt the current market and make waves of its own? Only time will tell. Regardless, one thing’s certain – the AI chatbot market is an exciting space to watch as the tides of innovation continue to ebb and flow.
Featured image credit: Kerem Gülen/Midjourney