Chinese tech giant Baidu has announced the official launch of its chatbot, Ernie Bot, after receiving approval from the Chinese government. The chatbot is now available for download via app stores or Baidu’s website. Similar to its competitor, ChatGPT, Ernie Bot allows users to ask questions, generate market analysis, provide marketing slogan ideas, and summarize documents.
According to representatives from Baidu, Ernie Bot surpassed one million users within the first 19 hours of its launch. Although the company stated that Ernie Bot is available globally, users are required to have a Chinese number to register and log in. While the Baidu app can be found on US Android and iOS app stores, it is currently only available in Chinese.
In addition to the successful launch of Ernie Bot, Baidu has plans to introduce a range of new AI-native apps designed to provide users with a comprehensive experience of generative AI’s core abilities: understanding, generation, reasoning, and memory. Baidu’s co-founder and CEO, Robin Li, expressed his excitement, stating that the company will leverage the feedback received from users to further enhance their foundation model, also named Ernie, and drive innovation in the Ernie Bot.
The development of Ernie Bot has been accompanied by challenges, including an initial demonstration that disappointed investors due to the use of pre-recorded videos. However, with the necessary security assessments completed and compliance with China’s generative AI guidelines, Baidu and other approved companies such as SenseTime, Baichuan Intelligent Technology, Zhipu AI, and MiniMax have been able to launch commercially.
China’s generative AI guidelines require companies to adhere to the core values of socialism and ensure that all training data for foundation models comes from government-approved sources. By following these guidelines, Baidu aims to meet the regulatory requirements while collecting valuable real-world human feedback to improve its AI models.
As Baidu expands its AI offerings and continues to innovate, the launch of Ernie Bot represents a significant milestone for the company. With the support of the Chinese government and a growing user base, Baidu aims to solidify its position in the AI market and deliver enhanced AI experiences to its users.