Chinese search engine giant Baidu is planning on releasing its own artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, much like OpenAI’s ChatGPT in March. The bot will first be launched as a standalone service and will later be merged with the search engine.
While specifics on the chatbot are still unknown, we do know that Chinese chatbots tend to focus more on social interaction, as compared to their western counterpart ChatGPT, which is better at more analytical and professional tasks, including writing essays, code or building websites.
Since the Chinese internet is controlled and monitored by the state, a lot of external AI services, including ChatGPT are banned in the country. This gives Baidu the perfect chance to expose a massive audience to its latest chatbot, the name for which hasn’t been decided yet.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, his new chatbot is based on Ernie, a deep-learning model developed by Baidu in 2019. The company has since successfully implemented this model on a number of occasions, even creating its own DALL-E versions.
As for the chatbot, Ernie is training the chatbot on both English and Non-English sources inside and outside the Chinese firewall. In the past, this model has already been trained by Wikipedia, BookCorpus, Reddit and Baidu’s own ecosystem, including Baidu Baike and Baide News.
As industry giants like Google and Microsoft rush in on this new technology, we’re seeing more and more competition as well as more money being poured into its development. In 2021, Microsoft announced its $10 billion backing to OpenAI, having already invested once in 2019. The company intends to merge ChatGPT with its existing products, including the search engine to make the search results more accurate and comprehensible.
2021 also saw the controversial launch of Google’s LaMDA, with researchers claiming it had gone sentinal. Finally, while Meta does have a similar bot known as Blenderbot, the company hasn’t announced any plans to either go ahead with the product or pull the prototype into protection.
Also read: Sorare adds English Premier League to its NFT fantasy game