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Chinese tech giant Baidu is currently riding high on the news that the company is launching an AI chatbot called ‘Ernie bot.’
Baidu shares surged by over 13% in Hong Kong on news that the Chinese giant plans to launch its own artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. According to reports, the prospective Baidu chatbot, dubbed “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese or “Ernie bot” in English, could mirror ChatGPT’s functionality. The company also said internal testing for the AI chatbot should conclude in March before a public release.
Baidu’s stock rose 13.48% to an 11-month high of 159.80 Hong Kong dollars per share during the Asian morning trade. Amid its stock’s highest point since mid-February last year, the company also provided some insight into its upcoming Ernie chatbot. Describing the AI chatbot initiative as a “large language model” initially introduced in 2019, Baidu also explained the project’s name. According to the Chinese multinational tech company, Ernie stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration.” Baidu further added:
“What distinguishes ERNIE from other language models is its integration of extensive knowledge with massive data, resulting in exceptional understanding and generation capabilities. It has since evolved into a series of advanced big models capable of handling a wide range of tasks, such as language understanding, language generation, and text-to-image generation.”
In a presentation from mid-January, Baidu chief technology officer Haifeng Wang stressed the importance of AI-driven deep learning. According to Wang, this type of learning sits at the core of artificial intelligence and demonstrates “increasingly strong potential.”
Touching on content generated by artificial intelligence, Baidu Technology Committee Chairwoman Hua Wu said:
“If you can utilize these content creation abilities to the greatest extent, then you can complete many important tasks of a film production.”
Baidu AI Chatbot Follows Microsoft-backed ChatGPT & Google Bard AI
Baidu’s confirmation of an upcoming AI chatbot feature comes on the heels of similarly-driven initiatives by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL).
The Microsoft-backed ChatGPT chatbot launched on November 30th last year and surged in popularity in the following months. ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is an OpenAI initiative that gives Google’s search engine a run for its money.
The chatbot is built atop OpenAI’s GPT-3 suite of large language models and boasts both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. ChatGPT quickly garnered widespread attention for its articulate answers and detailed responses across several knowledge domains.
Deployed in a wide range of services, from content creation to customer services, ChatGPT has the potential to large datasets and draw valuable conclusions. The chatbot’s surging popularity also boosted the value of some cryptocurrencies.
ChatGPT’s release also bestowed a lofty $29 billion valuation on its creator OpenAI. Furthermore, Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in the AI initiative emphasizes the potential for the technology to revolutionize business industries.
Google also recently announced its own Bard AI offering, which will open up to public testing. Bard looks to rival ChatGPT and will begin rolling out in the coming weeks.
Powered by Google’s large language model LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), Bard boasts several features. These include an “Apprentice Bard” chatbot and new search desktop designs that are potentially usable in a question-and-answer format.