China’s ChatGPT: Tech giant Baidu unveils ‘Ernie’, China’s answer to AI chatbot technology.

Beijing — Days after the popular artificial intelligence tool ChatGPTOpenAI developer releases latest version of GPT4 Chinese tech giant Baidu, known for the country’s search engine and map services, has unveiled its AI answer to the world. In a pre-recorded video presentation, Baidu’s famous co-founder Robin Li demonstrated the chatbot “Ernie” (Enhanced Representation of Knowledge Integration), which can understand human intent and provide answers that approach the human level.

The service has not yet been released to the general public for testing, but the event listed features such as understanding Chinese, generating text, and performing mathematical calculations consistent with ChatGPT’s functionality.

There were some highlights during the presentation, such as the presentation of a poster based on Ernie’s textual descriptions, but overall, the pre-recorded launch didn’t seem to impress investors.

Baidu’s share price fell as much as 10% at the opening on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but shares recovered losses in Friday’s trading.

Robin Lee, Baidu Inc.  chairman and chief executive officer, will attend the launch event of the company's Ernie chatbot on March 16, 2023 in Beijing, China.
Robin Lee, Baidu Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, will attend the launch event of the company’s Ernie chatbot on March 16, 2023 in Beijing, China.

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A limited number of people received codes to try Ernie’s software after Thursday’s launch, Reuters reported, and they quickly took to social media platforms to offer their own reviews, including side-by-side comparisons to US chatbots such as Microsoft. Bing, he is Chat uses GPT technology.

One person on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, for example, said that Ernie was able to answer a question about a philosopher “well,” but they noted that “there is a real gap between Ernie the bot and Bing.”

Reuters quoted a tech blogger who goes by the handle Chapingjun, who has more than 2.4 million followers on Wiebo, as saying the gap in functionality was “not huge” and noted that “on some questions (Ernie) even performed.” Better than Bing.”

Even if the launch fails, Ernie may have a significant market advantage over US-made products at home thanks to China’s push for technological independence and Western sanctions.

An overhaul of China’s science and technology ministry was announced at the annual meeting of China’s legislature, which ended on Monday, with the aim of pursuing “self-reliance” in the face of increasing US restrictions on sales of advanced processing chips and manufacturing equipment to China. .

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