China’s response to ChaptGPT was unveiled today and has received…mixed results. We’ve all heard just about everything there is to know about ChatGPT since it’s been in the hands of the general public and has dominated the global conversation. Due to its growing popularity, companies and startups are trying to cram it into their systems as quickly as possible.
Whether they are or not be careful in the frenzied pursuit of AI integration is a whole other discussion in itself, but for now we have been introduced to a new chatbot with a very sweet name: Ernie Bot. The new player in the AI game needs to be integrated into different applications.
The name Ernie is an abbreviation of “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration” and can perform various tasks such as solving basic math problems, writing poems, and creating images and videos. Baidu plans to include Ernie in its search engine, which is widely used in China. According to Reuters (opens in new tab) other applications may include cloud computing, intelligent cars and home appliances.
According to Baidu, Ernie Bot is already available to some users, who can access it through special invite codes. Companies interested in using the bot’s services can do so through Baidu’s cloud platform.
From the start, Ernie seems to beat ChatGPT so far in terms of features, at least on paper. However, the introduction of the chatbot did not turn out well on the market. In fact, it got a lot of comments due to the bot’s limited presentation at launch, as most of what was shown was based on pre-recorded video rather than any ‘live’ demonstrations.
The presentation consisted of five videos of Ernie Bot answering questions about a very famous Chinese science fiction novel called “The Three-Body Problem” and summarizing the story of the book. Ernie bot also exercised his math skills and created a conference poster using text prompts.
Baidu’s CEO Robin Li noted that “[they] definitely can’t say it’s perfect” when showing off Ernie Bot adding, “Why are we revealing it today? Because the market demands it.” Li is absolutely right on that front, the demand for AI powered chatbots like Ernie Bot and ChatGPT has never been higher and no one wants to be last in the race.
Sadly, the company suffered a 10% drop in stocks as CEO Robin Li spoke, which took more than $3 billion off the tech giant’s market valuation, a strikingly bad reaction to the revelation if we’ve ever seen one.
We can attribute this to the “old” nature of the presentation, which those in attendance felt was quite scripted, and the lack of a launch date may have shaken some people’s faith in Ernie Bot.
Hopefully Baidu will go back to the drawing board and come out swinging again. The capabilities showcased during the presentation are incredibly impressive, and the ambitious levels of integration raise hopes that Ernie Bot could be a game-changer in the AI scene.
Until now, the AI space has been dominated by English-speaking countries, so AI technology from non-Western countries would be a sight to behold, and with that international development, the technology could flourish.