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ByteDance sets its sights on Singapore for its genAI initiative, announcing multiple job opportunities.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Apr 1, 2024
ByteDance sets its sights on Singapore for its genAI initiative, announcing multiple job opportunities.

Amidst the ongoing saga surrounding the future of TikTok in the United States, ByteDance, the parent company of the popular video-sharing platform, has been making significant strides in enhancing its own artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. With a focus on bolstering its generative AI expertise, ByteDance has embarked on a hiring spree, particularly in Singapore and the US, aiming to expand its talent pool in this critical area.

Table: ByteDance’s Generative AI Job Openings

LocationNumber of Openings
Singapore40
United States60
Total100+

The Chinese tech giant has recently posted over 100 job openings specifically tailored to roles related to generative AI, with a significant portion concentrated in Singapore and the United States. Notably, approximately 40 of these open positions are for Large Language Model (LLM) roles in Singapore, underscoring the company’s strategic focus on this burgeoning technology.

Large language models, often referred to as foundational models, represent a sophisticated form of AI capable of generating diverse content such as text, images, and videos through the utilization of prompts. These models are trained using extensive datasets and are imbued with advanced machine learning capabilities.

A substantial portion of ByteDance’s new LLM job openings pertains to areas such as training, safety, and data acquisition, reflecting the company’s commitment to fostering a robust AI ecosystem within its operations. According to sources familiar with the matter, ByteDance’s keen interest in Singapore and the US stems from the abundant talent pool available in these regions.

The job opportunities in Singapore span across various teams tasked with integrating and testing the AI capabilities for ByteDance’s diverse range of products, offering prospective candidates a chance to contribute to cutting-edge technological advancements within the company.

These new hires will primarily focus on leveraging ByteDance’s proprietary Chinese LLM model, known as Yunque, which powers the company’s innovative ChatGPT-like app, Doubao. Additionally, they will play a pivotal role in the development of ByteDance’s other generative AI applications, which are tested using foundational models such as OpenAI.

ByteDance’s Doubao platform provides a plethora of services including chatbots, English learning support, writing assistance, AI-generated images, and coding, showcasing the versatility and practical applications of generative AI technologies.

In a revelation made in January, a Forbes report unveiled that TikTok, a subsidiary of ByteDance, had quietly launched four generative AI apps over the course of three months. These apps, namely Cici AI, Coze, ChitChop, and BagelBell, were developed for markets outside of China and were benchmarked using OpenAI’s technology, further highlighting ByteDance’s strategic diversification in the AI realm.

A factor that may have contributed to ByteDance’s recent hiring spree is its perceived lag behind other Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba and Baidu in releasing their own Large Language Models. ByteDance’s relative sluggishness in this regard could potentially be attributed to its cautious approach and meticulous testing procedures.

ByteDance has faced scrutiny in recent times, particularly following a report by The Verge in December which alleged that the company had been utilizing OpenAI’s technology without proper authorization. This led to OpenAI suspending ByteDance’s account, although ByteDance refuted the allegations, asserting that its usage of OpenAI’s technology was limited to testing and evaluation purposes.

Despite the temporary suspension of its OpenAI account, ByteDance continues to have access to OpenAI’s APIs through a Microsoft Azure license, enabling the company to continue its AI development endeavors.

In light of increased regulatory scrutiny, particularly in the United States, ByteDance appears to be prioritizing the utilization of foundational models developed by other firms for its AI applications, rather than solely relying on its proprietary Large Language Models. This strategic approach underscores ByteDance’s commitment to compliance and adherence to regulatory standards while navigating the evolving landscape of AI technology.

As ByteDance forges ahead with its ambitious AI initiatives, the company’s concerted efforts to strengthen its generative AI capabilities reflect its unwavering commitment to innovation and technological advancement on a global scale. With the continued expansion of its talent pool and strategic partnerships, ByteDance is poised to cement its position as a trailblazer in the realm of AI-driven technologies.


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Featured Image courtesy of The Star

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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