Ernie Bot, Baidu’s generative AI tool that rivals ChatGPT, is now open to the public

Baidu, one of China’s leading AI companies, has made its large language model, Ernie Bot, publicly available.

Baidu is a Chinese multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. It is one of the largest technology companies in China, and is often referred to as “China’s Google.” 

Baidu headquarters. Image source: Wikipedia

Ernie Bot was unveiled in mid-March 2023 and stands as one of the initial challengers to OpenAI’s ChatGPT in China, with other Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba, ByteDance, and iFlytek also launching their own models.

Since its launch, Ernie Bot has been mostly inaccessible to ordinary users due to waitlists and approval systems. However, Baidu has now announced that it is making Ernie Bot available to the general public. This means that anyone will now be able to use Ernie Bot to generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer questions.

Here are some of the potential uses of Ernie Bot:

  • Generating text for marketing materials, articles, and other creative content.
  • Translating languages for businesses and individuals.
  • Writing different kinds of creative content, such as poems, stories, and scripts.
  • Answering questions in an informative way.
  • Helping businesses with customer service and support.
  • Developing new applications for artificial intelligence.

Apart from Baidu, some of the other Chinese companies have received government approvals to provide generative AI services to the public, including:

  • SenseTime: a leading AI company that focuses on computer vision and deep learning. It launched its own chat platform called SenseChat.
  • Baichuan Intelligent Technology: a company that specializes in speech recognition and natural language understanding. It launched its large language models Baichuan-7B, Baichuan-13B, and Baichuan-53B (with 7, 13, and 53 billion parameters).
  • Zhipu AI: a company founded by Tsinghua alumni in 2019. It launched its first generative AI assistant named Zhipu Qingyan.

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