Baidu, China’s largest search engine platform, has reportedly unveiled plans to introduce a chatbot platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT. This move could mark China's most important entry in a race brought on by the technology boom.
Baidu is expected to launch the new system in March this year. According to sources, it will initially be integrated into Baidu's primary search services.
Users of the system, which remains unnamed, will be able to receive conversational search results, similar to the popular OpenAI platform.
Baidu has invested billions of dollars in artificial intelligence research in a multi-year effort to migrate from online marketing to deeper technologies.
Baidu's Ernie system, a large-scale machine-learning system that has been developed on data over multiple years - would serve as the foundation for its next ChatGPT-like application.
The Internet has been ablaze since ChatGPT, an AI tool from OpenAI, made its debut in November.
It quickly gathered over a million users and sparked a discussion on the employment of AI in classrooms, workplaces, and households.
Microsoft and other businesses are spending billions to attempt to create practical uses, while others are cashing in on the hype to generate money. Buzzfeed's stock more than doubled this month after the company announced intentions to include ChatGPT in its programming.
Most of China's Internet market is under the control of Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings, as well as ByteDance. After falling further behind its bigger competitors in markets including video, mobile advertising, and social media, the search giant has been attempting to resurrect growth in the smartphone industry. Baidu is now working on developing automated driving technologies in addition to its AI research.
Chinese Internet users have also taken an interest in ChatGPT, sharing screenshots of unusual chats they had with the AI bot on Chinese social media. Despite a local Internet that is severely regulated and generally disconnected from the rest of the world, companies like Baidu have flourished as local alternatives to Amazon, Google, and Facebook.