ChatGPT-rival Ernie: Baidu reveals more capabilities of its AI chatbot behind closed doors

    Baidu unveiled Ernie on March 16 as a response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.


    Chinese multinational tech giant Baidu on Monday unveiled new capabilities of its artificial intelligence chatbot Ernie in a closed-door meeting. The meeting was originally planned to be a live-streamed product launch open to the media and public.


    According to a Reuters report, the Chinese search engine shared pre-recorded videos of the rival of ChatGPT wherein Ernie summarised financial statements and produced PowerPoint presentations, among others. Furthermore, the Chinese chatbot is now also capable of producing travel itineraries along with human-like live streamers that can advertise products using scripts tailored to the user’s needs.


    Due to “strong demand” from over 120,000 companies that have lined up to test the Chinese AI bot, the format of the meeting was changed. Additionally, this would be the first of many closed-door meetings, Baidu said.


    Starting March 31, more companies would be able to sign up to test the industry version of Ernie. The regular version of the chatbot, however, remains open for testing to users based on invite codes.


    Known as China’s Google, Baidu unveiled Ernie on March 16 to a muted reaction. Baidu chief executive officer Robin Li presented a pre-recorded video wherein Ernie bot presented features like mathematical logic reasoning and generated a conference poster and video based on a prompt alongside answering questions related to Chinese fiction, among others.


    The AI race has intensified after OpenAI’s ChatGPT came into the limelight since its launch in November last year. Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT is a popular AI text generator and has been a center of attention for many due to its human-like response. Several other tech giants have also started investing heavily in the segment.


    In February, Sundar Pichai-led tech major Google announced its experimental conversational artificial intelligence chatbot service Bard as competition to Microsoft-backed ChatGPT. However, the company suffered reputational damage and lost about $100 billion in market value after Bard provided incorrect information about the James Webb Space Telescope being the first to take pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system.


    author avatar
    Monika Asthana




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