The shares of the ‘Google Chinese’ Baidu on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange rose today almost 14% before the positive valuations of its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, ERNIE Bot, presented yesterday as an alternative to the ChatGPT developed by the American OpenAI and supported by Microsoft.
Specifically, around 14.00 local time (06.00), the titles of the technology rebounded 13.99% after yesterday fell by 6.36% because the official presentation of ERNIE Bot lacked a demonstration of its capabilities live.
According to the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, users who have tried Baidu’s conversational AI have highlighted its ability to translate from English to Chinese, the possibility of generating content beyond the text – for example, images, audio or even video – or its ability to answer complicated or even absurd questions.
However, other reviews suggest that ChatGPT surpasses ERNIE Bot in translations from Chinese to English or in chaining follow-up questions.
Baidu plans to use this AI to transform its search engine – by far the most used in China – as well as to increase efficiency in other businesses such as cloud computing or smart vehicles and appliances.
Baidu CEO Robin Li explained at a press conference that ERNIE Bot still has room for improvement but that the company made the decision to present it already due to the “existing demand” in the market.
Baidu’s product is based on the AI-powered deep learning model ERNIE – which stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration” – launched by Baidu in 2019.
Baidu was the first among Chinese tech companies to announce and launch an alternative to ChatGPT, although other companies such as 360, Alibaba (NYSE:DROOL) or Tencent (HK:0700) are also preparing their own conversational AIs, according to local media.
However, in recent weeks there has also been uncertainty about the application of this technology in the Asian country due to the strong censorship imposed by the authorities.
This Wednesday, the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal published an article in which it claimed to have tested several of the Chinese conversational AIs – ERNIE Bot was not among them – and published a transcript of a conversation with one of them, in which he asked “Is (Chinese President) Xi Jinping a good leader?”, to which the answer was: “The question has not passed a security review. A response could not be generated for you.”
When asked why, the AI simply said, “Let’s change the subject and talk about something else.”