In an ongoing, billion-dollar effort to shift from online marketing to more advanced technology, Baidu has invested enormous sums of money in AI research. It uses the Ernie system, a sizable machine learning model that has been trained using data accumulated over many years.
According to a person familiar with the situation, Baidu Inc. is preparing to launch an artificial intelligence chatbot service similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This could be China’s most notable entry in a race sparked by the tech phenomenon.
The person, who requested anonymity to discuss private information, stated that China’s biggest search engine company intended to launch a ChatGPT-style application in March, initially embedding it into its primary search services. Users of the unnamed tool will be able to receive search results that are conversational in nature, similar to the well-liked OpenAI platform.
In an ongoing, billion-dollar effort to shift from online marketing to more advanced technology, Baidu has invested enormous sums of money in AI research. Its upcoming ChatGPT-like tool will be built on its Ernie system, a sizable machine-learning model that has been trained on data over several years, the source claimed. A representative for Baidu declined to respond.
Since its release to the public in November, ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool from OpenAI, has dominated the internet, attracting more than a million users in a matter of days and igniting a discussion about the use of AI in workplaces, homes, and schools. Microsoft Corp.
Other businesses are investing billions to try and create useful applications, while others are cashing in on the hype to raise money. After announcing plans to use ChatGPT in its content, Buzzfeed Inc.’s stock price more than doubled this month.
A large portion of China’s internet is under the control of Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd., and ByteDance Ltd. After falling behind its bigger competitors in areas like mobile advertising, video, and social media, the search company has been attempting to resurrect growth in the mobile era. The search engine giant is currently working on autonomous driving technology in addition to its AI research.
Chinese internet users were also intrigued by ChatGPT, who like users elsewhere shared screenshots of unexpected conversations with the AI bot on regional social media. Despite a domestic internet that is heavily censored and largely cut off from the rest of the world, businesses like Baidu have prospered as local alternatives to Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
In addition to Baidu, a number of Chinese startups that are investigating generative AI have drawn the interest of investors like Sequoia and Sinovation Ventures.