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Baidu Claims Parity of its AI with GPT-4


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Sign up for CNN’s Meanwhile in China newsletter, which explores the country’s rise and its impact on the world. Hong Kong CNN – Chinese tech giant Baidu has introduced ERNIE 4.0, the newest version of its artificial intelligence chatbot. Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, compared ERNIE 4.0 to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and stated that it is not inferior in any aspect to GPT-4. During a presentation, Li showcased the bot’s capabilities, including generating a car commercial, solving math problems, and creating a martial arts novel plot. The bot primarily operates in Mandarin Chinese but can also handle English queries and responses at a lower level. Li emphasized the bot’s significant improvement in query understanding, response generation, and memory capabilities. Baidu’s demonstration received cautious optimism from Charlie Dai, a vice president and research director of technology at Forrester. Despite the live presentation, Baidu’s shares dropped 1.4% following the event. Baidu has been a frontrunner in capitalizing on generative AI technology and released ERNIE Bot in March, leading it to become popular with over 45 million users. Baidu faces competition from Chinese companies Alibaba and SenseTime, who have their own ChatGPT-style tools. Baidu believes its service stands out due to its advanced understanding of Chinese queries and its ability to generate various types of responses. Unlike GPT-4, which only generates text responses, ERNIE 4.0 can analyze photos and produce text, video, and audio responses. Critics suggest that these new offerings from Chinese companies may intensify the US-China rivalry in emerging technologies. However, Baidu’s CEO has emphasized that their platform is not a tool for confrontation but to promote advancements. Baidu also announced updates to its suite of services, integrating the latest upgrades from ERNIE, such as producing more specific search results and enabling mobile mapping app users to book services like taxis.


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