Baidu, the renowned Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence startup, made waves in the tech world when it recently unveiled its formidable competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Named “Ernie Bot,” this language model aims to captivate users with its generative AI capabilities, and it is now accessible to the general public. The announcement of Ernie Bot’s release caused Baidu’s stock price to surge by over 3%, underlining the growing significance of AI in the global market.
Beijing, driven by aspirations of becoming the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, has been nurturing a competitive environment among Chinese tech giants. Following the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, several Chinese technology companies rushed to introduce their own generative AI models. Ernie Bot is Baidu’s response to this challenge.
Ernie Bot stands out by creating text and images in response to user queries and instructions. The platform is available to the general public through Baidu’s official website and an exclusive app offered in China’s app stores. Notably, the Ernie Bot app swiftly climbed the ranks to become the most popular free software on Apple’s iOS store in China.
Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, emphasized that making Ernie Bot accessible to the public is a strategic move to gather valuable human feedback. This feedback will aid in refining both Ernie Bot and its underlying AI models, ensuring continuous improvement and enhancing user experiences.
China has been taking proactive measures to regulate the generative AI sector. Recent AI laws, implemented on August 15, require companies to undergo security reviews and obtain permissions before widely distributing their AI products. Additionally, businesses in this domain must adhere to government guidelines for technology and information. In contrast, the United States currently imposes no such restrictions, a fact that Baidu’s CEO Li has praised as being more pro-innovation than regulation.
Baidu’s move into the generative AI space marks another significant stride in China’s pursuit of AI dominance. Baichuan and Zhipu AI, two other Chinese tech companies, also unveiled their AI language models on the same day. With its headquarters in Beijing’s Haidian District, Baidu, Inc. remains at the forefront of global technology, dedicated to Internet-related services, goods, and artificial intelligence. As the competition intensifies, the AI landscape promises exciting developments and innovations that will shape the future of technology.