Chinese technology companies Baidu and SenseTime released ChatGPT-style AI bots to the public on Thursday, marking a new milestone in the global AI race.
Baidu has opened public access to its ERNIE Bot, allowing users to perform AI-powered searches or perform a range of tasks, from creating videos to providing summaries of complex tasks. documents.
The news sent its shares up 3.1% in New York on Wednesday and 4.7% in Hong Kong on Thursday.
baidu (Bedo) is among the first companies in China to gain regulatory approval for the startup, and is the first to publicly launch this type of service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Until Thursday, the ERNIE Bot, also known as “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese, was only available to corporate clients or selected members of the public who had requested access through a waiting list.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based AI startup SenseTime also announced the public launch of its SenseChat platform on Thursday. The company’s shares rose 4% in Hong Kong after the news
“We are excited to announce that starting today, it will be fully available to serve all users,” a SenseTime spokesperson told CNN in a statement.
China published new rules on generative AI in July, becoming one of the first countries in the world to regulate the industry. The measures took effect on August 15.
Baidu has been a leader in China in the race to capitalize on the excitement surrounding generative AI, the technology that underpins systems like ChatGPT or its successor, GPT-4. The latter has impressed users with its ability to simplify programming, quickly build a website from a simple sketch and pass tests with high scores.
Baidu announced its own version in February, giving it an early advantage in China, according to analysts. She unveiled ERNIE a month later, showing how she could create a newsletter, come up with a logo for the company, and solve a mathematical puzzle.
Since then, competitors such as Alibaba (Baba) and SenseTime have announced plans to launch their own ChatGPT-style tools, adding to the list of Chinese companies jumping on the bandwagon. Alibaba told CNN on Thursday that it has applied for regulatory approval for its bot, which was filed in April.
The company is now waiting for the official launch, said a spokesperson for Alibaba Cloud, and the initial list of companies approved by relevant local departments is expected to be released within one week.
Some critics say that new offerings from Chinese companies will add fuel to the competition between the US and China in emerging technologies. Baidu CEO Robin Li has tried to brush off the comparison, previously saying that the company’s platform “is not a tool for confrontation between China and the United States.”
The company’s new feature — which will be built into its popular search engine, among its other offerings — follows a similar one offered by Alphabet’s Google (Google) in May, which allows users to search the web using its AI-powered chatbot.
Baidu says its service has an advanced understanding of Chinese queries, as well as its ability to generate different types of responses, such as text, images, audio, and video.
In comparison, GPT-4 is also capable of analyzing images, but currently it generates text-only responses. according to Developed by OpenAI.
While the ERNIE Bot is available globally, its interface is in Chinese, though users will be able to enter Chinese and English prompts, a Baidu spokesperson told CNN.
Sensetime, which unveil Its service in April touted a range of features it says allow users to write code, debug errors more efficiently, or receive personalized medical advice from a virtual health counseling assistant.