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Business News/ Technology / News/  Made-in-China AI bot fails to impress upon launch, shares slide 10%
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Made-in-China AI bot fails to impress upon launch, shares slide 10%

Chinese tech giant Baidu's new AI based chatbot Ernie failed to impress investors leading to its shares falling sharply on Thursday.

Baidu CEO Robin Li said on Thursday that Ernie chatbot wasn't perfect in his testing but it would get better with user's feedback. (AP)Premium
Baidu CEO Robin Li said on Thursday that Ernie chatbot wasn't perfect in his testing but it would get better with user's feedback. (AP)

Chinese search giant Baidu on Thursday unveiled its answer to the viral AI-powered ChatGPT. The Chinese chatbot however failed to impress investors, leading to Baidu's shares falling close to 10% during the day and eventually closing 6.4% lower in Hong Kong.

Baidu showcased a pre-recorded Ernie (Enhanced Representation of Knowledge Integration) Bot's ability to solve mathematical calculations, speak in Chinese dialects and generate videos and images through text prompts.

However, even Baidu's CEO Robin Li believes that the chatbot isn't perfect' and might not be able to compete with ChatGPT or GPT-4. However, he emphasized that the product would eventually get better with users' feedback.

“I can’t say we are fully ready. Benchmarking Ernie Bot against ChatGPT, or even GPT-4, is a high bar…None of the Big Tech firms globally has made it. Baidu is the first one," new agency Bloomberg quoted Li as saying.

The Chinese tech company will initially launch the Ernie bot to its ‘650 ecosystem business partners’ while Baidu's AI cloud users can apply for access to Ernie bot's API.

Also Read: Users can now try GPT-4 without going through a waitlist. Here's how

Baidu's attempt to challenge OpenAI's dominance in the generative AI-based chatbot space is the first such attempt by a Chinese company. While there are many other large tech groups in China, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu is seen as the frontrunner in leading the country's efforts to counter US companies in the field of AI-based chatbots.

On March 14, Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled its next-generation language model GPT-4 to the public. OpenAI claims the language model has more human-like capabilities, longer memory and versatility as compared to GPT-3.5 model.

Many popular companies such as Khan Academy, Duolingo, Morgan Stanley, Be My Eyes, Microsoft's Bing and Quora's Poe etc. have already announced the integration of GPT-4 in their products.

Ever since its launch in November last year, ChatGPT has become a viral sensation creating wonder and panic among the general public. It has also fueled a generative AI-based tech race between Microsoft and Google.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 16 Mar 2023, 10:28 PM IST
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