Baidu, the Chinese search engine and AI firm, has released its own breakthrough language model called Ernie Bot. This AI-powered model is designed to generate text and images in response to user questions and prompts. Baidu’s move to make Ernie Bot fully available to the public has resulted in a 3% increase in its stock price.
The release of Ernie Bot is part of Beijing’s strategy to position China as a global leader in the field of artificial intelligence by 2030, aiming to rival the United States. Chinese technology companies have been racing to unveil their own generative AI models since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a widely popular language model.
Ernie Bot is now accessible to the general public via Baidu’s official website and a China-only app available in local app stores. Shortly after its release, the Ernie Bot app quickly climbed to the top of the charts on Apple’s iOS store in China for free apps. Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, expressed the company’s excitement about collecting massive real-world human feedback as a result of making the model public. This feedback will help enhance Ernie Bot and Baidu’s other foundational AI models.
The release of Ernie Bot aligns with China’s recent efforts to regulate the generative AI industry, similar to the European Union. On August 15, China issued AI regulations requiring companies to undergo security reviews and obtain approvals prior to launching their products publicly. Additionally, companies providing generative AI services must comply with government requests for technology and data. In contrast, the United States currently lacks regulations in this domain.
Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, considers the AI regulations in China to be more pro-innovation than regulation. During the company’s earnings call earlier in August, he expressed optimism about the regulations.
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