April 1, 2023

Taipei, Taiwan – Chinese language search engine large Baidu has revealed its synthetic intelligence-powered chatbot ERNIE, the newest rival to OpenAI’s groundbreaking ChatGPT.

Baidu Chief Government Robin Li stated on Thursday that ERNIE, referred to as Weixin in Chinese language, was the results of “a long time of Baidu’s onerous work and efforts” at a dwell streamed press convention held to point out off the know-how’s capabilities.

“In two rounds of dialog, the ERNIE bot introduced its functionality of mathematical logic reasoning,” Li stated. “It doesn’t solely know whether or not the query itself is right or not, it additionally offered solutions and particular steps to determine the reply.”

On the occasion in Beijing, Li confirmed ERNIE producing a convention poster and video primarily based on a immediate, providing recommendation on the very best location for the occasion amongst a number of Chinese language cities, and studying materials in a Sichuan dialect.

Li additionally confirmed the bot answering questions on a preferred Chinese language science fiction novel and summarizing the e book’s plot.

Li stated that the options, which can be built-in into Baidu’s Xiaodu good machine ecosystem, can be initially solely out there to a restricted variety of customers with an ERNIE invitation code.

The bot performs higher in Chinese language in comparison with English and might wrestle with questions that include logical errors, Li stated, though it may determine when one thing is fallacious.

In contrast to OpenAI’s demonstrations of ChatGPT, Baidu didn’t exhibit ERNIE’s capabilities dwell however as an alternative via a sequence of slides. The chatbot additionally lacks capabilities unveiled within the followup to Chat GPT, GPT-4, resembling the power to generate textual content in response to a picture.

ERNIE’s launch was poorly acquired by buyers, with Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares failing greater than 10 p.c throughout the pre-recorded demonstration.

“There may be nonetheless a whole lot of uncertainty round ERNIE’s capability, particularly given the shortage of a dwell demo – a stark distinction to OpenAI’s GPT-4’s developer livestream a couple of days in the past,” Chim Lee, a China tech analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, advised Al Jazeera.

“Robin Li didn’t exhibit Ernie’s capability in a non-Chinese language language atmosphere,” Lee added. “He additionally admitted that Ernie’s capability to grasp and course of English is not so good as that of Chinese language comprehension. This places it behind ChatGPT, which is ready to generate responses in English, Chinese language and different languages.

Baidu’s announcement comes only a day after Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, which the San Francisco-based firm says is able to “human-level efficiency” in sure tutorial areas, together with the power to move the bar examination for potential attorneys with a rating within the prime 10 p.c of candidates.

Li stated his “expectations for Ernie bot are nearer to ChatGPT and even GPT4” and praised Baidu for launching the bot forward of opponents resembling Google and Fb dad or mum firm Meta.

Greater than 650 organizations in China have plans to make use of ERNIE, together with China CITIC Financial institution, the Nationwide Museum of China and the International Occasions newspaper, Li stated.

The Chinese language authorities has pledged to help native AI builders and combine the know-how throughout Chinese language business,

Native tech giants together with Alibaba, Huawei JD.com have introduced plans to carry out their very own variations of the know-how.

Beijing’s strict web controls have raised doubts about how AI-powered chatbots will function in China given the know-how’s reliance on data scrapped from sources on-line.

Nonetheless, ERNIE may discover some success in China because of restrictions on OpenAI’s bots within the nation, Lee stated.

“Chinese language know-how firms have a powerful functionality to find working enterprise fashions for brand spanking new applied sciences,” he stated.

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