China’s Baidu unveils Ernie Bot, another AI chatbot to rival ChatGPT

Meet Ernie Bot, China's first AI chatbot, and ChatGPT rivalry

Chinese internet search leader Baidu Inc. has unveiled its chatbot called Ernie Bot to rival Open AI’s ChatGPT, according to Bloomberg. This AI bot was revealed by the founder, Robin Li, through a prerecorded demo at a live event, with a wall-sized screen over his shoulder displaying text interactions between a user and the AI system.

According to Bloomberg, this launch triggered a roller coaster in its share price last week as the Baidu shares plummeted as much as 10%– 14% after a succession of analysts approved the AI chatbot.

Although, some of the testers, which include Citigroup and Bank of America, and even Robin Li, the founder, have confirmed that Ernie Bot is not perfect, just like ChatGPT.

According to Engadget, the chatbot was first launched in 2019, but this new version, based on Baidu CEO Robin Li’s comment, is very close to GPT-4 capabilities.

Read Also: OpenAI launches an API for ChatGPT and its Whisper speech-to-text tech

Key differences between ChatGPT and Ernie Bot

Meet Ernie Bot, China's first AI chatbot, and ChatGPT rivalry

Based on some of the observations from testers, Ernie Bot might be one of the biggest AI conventional bots, especially for search engines. Although it has not been open to foreign-media journalists, it does have its own flaws.

The chatbot can write an 800-character thesis or code a button that changes colour when pressed. Its understanding of the Chinese language, culture, and internet memes is better than ChatGPT’s.

ChatGPT could be a more effective AI bot for the task of creative thinking or context awareness, but Baidu has fired the opening shot, and China’s internet industry now has a target to aim at. Ernie Bot appears to be entering a market that ChatGPT has not considered very available. With this, Bloomberg is anticipating moves from Tencent and Alibaba.

Artificial Intelligence, a forefront of competition

Artificial intelligence seems to be the new oil for the tech industry as many big tech companies are vying into the industry like it is no man’s business. When OpenAI launched the almighty ChatGPT, the chatbot ‘broke the internet’ as the most downloaded app just three months after its launch.

This sparked the race to create the best AI chatbot as Google created Bard, which is not accessible to the public right now. Both companies -Google and Microsoft- intend to integrate their bots into their tools to promote productivity further and improve efficiency, which has been a win-win for their audience.

However, the competition has split between countries, and Baidu, which is seen as the leader in China, the country with the second-largest economy, is at the forefront of the competition.

According to Bloomberg, Ernie is carefully scrutinized to compare China’s offerings to those of ChatGPT creator OpenAI Inc. 650 companies have already signed up to use ERNIE Bot’s technology, according to Li, but he also acknowledged that it isn’t yet ready for a public premiere.

For now, the Chinese tech giant will only give access to those who have already gotten invitations, but more businesses can apply to use Baidu’s cloud platform to embed the chatbot into their products.

Read Also: Google unveils ‘Bard’ AI tool to rival ChatGPT

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