ByteDance is late to the AI ​​party, CEO says at all-hands meeting

(Bloomberg) — The head of ByteDance Ltd. urged his employees to resist mediocrity as the company missed the early wave of generic AI development, the latest Chinese corporate to warn against leaving employees behind in a rapidly changing environment. Became a leader.

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At a company-wide meeting Tuesday, co-founder and CEO Liang Rubo asked workers to embrace the spirit of the crisis — suggesting that social video pioneer ByteDance was late in recognizing the arrival of game-changing technologies like generative AI. happened. He joins Jack Ma of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and Inc. in expressing concern about organizational problems in the face of increasing competition. Kay is joined by Richard Liu.

“We are not sensitive enough to external changes,” Liang said, according to a post on the company’s official WeChat account. “During our semi-annual technology review, despite GPT-1 being released in 2018, discussions related to GPT did not come up until 2023.”

The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 stunned Internet social network leaders from Meta Platform Inc. to Alphabet Inc.’s Google and YouTube. ByteDance’s TikTok is growing rapidly even without leading that new wave, but Liang said he’s seen some warning signs in recent days, from complacency, inefficiency and slowness to low standards.

Echoing some of Ma and Liu’s comments late last year, Liang called for a renewed entrepreneurial spirit at the company, saying he feared ByteDance could slip into mediocrity.

However, Liang took a softer tone than both peers, saying his company is still performing well and there are still a lot of things to look forward to in ByteDance.

ByteDance released its Doubao chatbot without much fanfare last year. In December,…

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