Baidu, a Chinese multinational AI technology firm, has introduced its AI-based chatbot known as Ernie Bot. This chatbot, powered by Baidu’s Ernie language model, is designed to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Ernie Bot offers users a range of functionalities, including text generation, language translation, content creation, and informative responses to questions. However, there are certain restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on the usage of generative AI, affecting how Ernie Bot can be utilized.
Ernie Bot was first launched on March 16, 2023, and it became available to the public on August 30, following the release of government regulations in July. Within just 24 hours of its official release, Ernie Bot garnered 1 million users and received over 33.4 million user queries. However, some critics have noted that its performance falls short compared to ChatGPT.
China’s generative AI industry is burgeoning, with numerous chatbots emerging as part of the first batch of approved applications for public use. These chatbots, including Ernie Bot, offer features similar to ChatGPT and Western AI bots, such as text-based conversations, problem-solving, poetry composition, and coding assistance.
Nevertheless, the Chinese government has imposed restrictions on these chatbots, making it challenging for the public to access and use them. Users are required to create Baidu accounts, obtain use licenses, and may face delays of up to three months, leading some to sell secondhand Baidu accounts for up to $100.
The introduction of Ernie Bot represents China’s entry into the growing field of generative AI chatbots, despite the regulatory challenges and competition from Western counterparts like ChatGPT.