China’s Baidu Sees Stock Price Rising After Announcing ChatGPT Rival
Chinese search engine Baidu has revealed its own artificial intelligence chatbot, a ChatGPT-like service that creates AI-generated text based on the input it is given. Other major Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and NetEase have also announced similar projects as the AI hype finds momentum. The company’s stock briefly spiked 12% to $160.22 on Tuesday after the announcement, the highest it has been since March 2022.
Baidu Jumps on AI Frenzy With New Project
On Tuesday, Chinese tech giant Baidu announced its ChatGPT-style chatbot. Called “Ernie Bot” in English or “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese, the service is set to launch in March and will be embedded into Baidu’s search engine, according to a report by local media outlet CnStock.
“At present, related functions of [Ernie Bot] have been launched or tested in Baidu search, including multiple answer replies, intelligent generation, etc,” the report said, adding that Baidu Search began to apply the AI service technology to “deeply empower search relevance, in-depth question and answer, and content understanding” in 2020.
Ernie stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” a Baidu spokesperson has reportedly told CNN. The chatbot, which is based on a language model that Baidu first developed in 2019, is now capable of writing poems and essays or using text prompts to automatically generate images.
The announcement comes following the splashy debut of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November last year. The chatbot has exploded in popularity, reaching 100 million users in January, just two months after its launch.
It is worth noting that Microsoft has built a close relationship with OpenAI and has also unveiled a new version of its Bing search engine that incorporates OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, the language technology behind ChatGPT. Bing now is an “AI-powered co-pilot for the web,” the tech giant announced Wednesday.
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Google’s AI Chatbot Makes a Mistake
To reassure investors that it is not lagging behind the trend, Google decided to show off its AI chatbot in a promotional video. The promotion for the bot, known as Bard, was released on Twitter on Monday, and showed it answering a query incorrectly.
When the bot was asked to tell a nine-year-old about discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope, Bard said the JWST telescope was the first to take pictures of a planet outside the earth’s solar system, when in fact, that milestone was claimed by the European Very Large Telescope in 2004.
Twitter users were quick to catch the mistake. “Why didn’t you factcheck this example before sharing it?” Chris Harrison, a fellow at Newcastle University, replied to the tweet.
The mistake cost Google parent company Alphabet $100 billion, as shares in the company plunged more than 7% on Wednesday. Shares in the company are currently up 0.80% in the pre-market trading.
On the other hand, Baidu’s stock spiked on the new AI project. On Tuesday, shares of Baidu increased 12% to $160.22, the highest since March 2022. As of now, the company’s stock is trading at $154, up by 1.57% in pre-market trading.
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