China’s Baidu makes AI chatbot Ernie Bot publicly available

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HONG KONG (AP) – Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence company Baidu made its ChatGPT-equivalent language model fully available to the public on Thursday, sending the company’s stock price up more than 3% after the announcement.

Beijing sees artificial intelligence as a key industry to challenge the United States and aims to become a world leader by 2030. Chinese tech firms are also racing to unveil their generative AI models — where algorithms allow technology to create and create new content — after U.S. firms. OpenAI introduced the widely popular ChatGPT.

Baidu said Thursday that Ernie Bot will be fully open to the general public through an app or an official website By Thursday afternoon, the Ernie Bot app topped Apple’s iOS Store chart in China for free apps.

By releasing the model publicly, Baidu will be able to gather massive real-world human feedback, according to Baidu CEO Robin Li, who said it will help improve Ernie and Baidu’s foundational models.

China, like Europe, has made efforts in recent months Generative AI to regulate the industry.

China issued AI regulations in August. 15 Companies are required to undergo a security review and approval before releasing their products to the public. Beijing also requires companies providing such generative AI services to comply with government requests for technology and data.

There are currently no regulations in the United States.

Baidu CEO Li said he was optimistic and described AI regulations as “more innovation than regulation” in the company’s earnings call in early August.

Two other Chinese AI companies, Baichuan and Zhipu AI, launched their AI language models on Thursday.



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