Baidu, Google latest to tap into ChatGPT foray

SHANGHAI, 7 Feb 2023:

Chinese tech giant Baidu is nearing the completion of the testing phase of its ChatGPT-like service that is likely to be rolled out in March, the company said today.

A Baidu statement said the new service would be called “Wenxin Yiyan,” or “Ernie Bot” in English.

Ernie is an AI-powered language model Baidu introduced in 2019. It stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration.”

Baidu’s announcement came just hours after US-based Google unveiled its own conversational AI, called Bard, fuelling a ‘battle’ in the fledgling sector after Microsoft invested US$10 billion in OpenAI, the ChatGPT developer.

The Chinese search engine will follow the Google and Microsoft AI evolution to decide whether to open a private beta before the planned launch date of Ernie Bot.

Close on the heels of the launch announcement, Baidu shares shot up to 14.41% during the first part of the trading session today in Hong Kong.

The rise shows the investors’ optimism about Baidu’s foray into the AI arena, which had hogged the international headlines in the last few days, but the tech giant had not confirmed until today.