Baidu, the leading Chinese search engine, announced the release of its latest version of the ERNIE (Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration) Bot. The new chatbot is Baidu’s answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT service, which has taken the market by storm in recent years. The previous version of ERNIE Bot was launched in 2019, and since then, Baidu has been working on improving its capabilities.
During the press event, Baidu CEO Robin Li revealed that the latest version of ERNIE Bot has features that are similar to OpenAI‘s latest release, GPT-4. With over a decade of development, the chatbot boasts 550 billion facts in its knowledge graph, which mostly focus on the Chinese market. Therefore, while it can answer questions and provide Chinese idioms, its ability to answer questions outside of its region is limited.
However, ERNIE Bot has unique capabilities such as generating audio responses in various Chinese dialects, and it can even create images and videos from Chinese text. In the demo, the chatbot was able to summarize a Chinese sci-fi novel and suggest ways to continue writing the story. It also provided information on the actors in the film adaptation, including comparing their heights to determine who was taller. In another demonstration, the chatbot generated names, slogans, and newsletters for a high-tech service company catering to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Li also announced that over 650 companies have already signed up to use ERNIE Bot’s technology, although the chatbot is not yet ready for a public debut. Baidu released it early due to market demand following ChatGPT’s surge in popularity. Access to the chatbot will be granted to those who have already received invitations, and more companies can apply to embed the chatbot into their products through Baidu’s cloud platform.