Ernie Bot (full name: Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration) is the first generative AI chatbot publicly released in China. Although it is available globally, users need a Chinese phone number to register and log in.
- Baidu’s AI chat service Ernie Bot is the first Chinese rival to ChatGPT.
- Ernie Bot is powered by Baidu’s Ernie language model, which is trained on a massive dataset of text and code.
- Ernie Bot can be used for a variety of tasks, including generating text, translating languages, writing different kinds of creative content, and answering your questions in an informative way.
- The Chinese government is still in the process of regulating the generative AI industry, so there are some restrictions on how Ernie Bot can be used.
- Despite these restrictions, Ernie Bot is a significant development in the field of AI and has the potential to be a powerful tool for businesses and individuals.
After the stupendous success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, every company wants to integrate AI technology, and many want to develop customized AI language models, such as Baidu. The Chinese multinational AI tech firm Baidu has officially received the go-ahead for its own AI-based chatbot Ernie Bot, regarded as the rival of ChatGPT.
Ernie Bot, similar to its primary competitor ChatGPT, offers users the ability to inquire about various topics or request assistance in creating market analysis, generating marketing slogans, and summarizing documents.
Chinese Public Received the Country’s First AI Chatbot:
Baidu’s AI chat service Ernie Bot was initially launched on March 16 2023 as the first-ever Chinese rival to ChatGPT and made available to the public on August 30 after the government released regulations in July. Within 24 hours of its official release, the chatbot attracted 1 million users and over 33.4 million user queries.
The same day Baidu announced the release of another batch of AI applications and initiated the registration process for its chatbot. However, it is worth noting that when it was released in mid-March, MIT Technology Review’s Zeyi Yang dubbed its performance mediocre compared to ChatGPT.
Chinese Tech Sector Eyeing Generative AI Industry
According to Chinese media outlets, at least eight Chinese generative AI chatbots are part of the first batch of approved apps for the public. This includes ByteDance’s chatbot Doubao released on August 18 and Zidong Taichu 2.0 from the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. However, AI bots from Alibaba, JD, iFLYTEK, and 360 weren’t part of the first batch.
So far, over a dozen Chinese chatbots have been released, and most offer similar features as ChatGPT and other Western AI bots as all can converse in text, answer queries, solve math problems, compose poems, and write programming code.
China Not Ready to Allow Free Access to AI Tech
Ernie Bot and all other Chinese chatbots will be released with certain restrictions, which makes it difficult for the Chinese public to use these tools. In July 2023, the Chinese government released regulations before allowing the public access to generative AI models, which included a condition that companies would need to obtain relevant administrative licenses but didn’t specify what it meant.
To use Ernie Bot, users must create an account on Baidu and obtain a use license, which may take up to three months. That’s why many early members are now selling secondhand Baidu accounts on e-comm platforms for up to $100.