Baidu says its AI is in the same league as GPT-4

Baidu says its AI is in the same league as GPT-4

Chinese tech giant Baidu has officially adopted GPT-4.

On Tuesday, the company unveiled ERNIE 4.0, the latest version of its artificial intelligence chatbot that it directly compared to the latest iteration of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

ERNIE The new bot “is not inferior in any respect to GPT-4,” Baidu’s billionaire CEO Robin Li told the audience at its annual premiere event.

Speaking on stage, Li demonstrated how the bot can generate advertisements for cars in minutes, solve complex math problems and create the plot for a martial arts novel from scratch. The bot works mainly in Mandarin Chinese, its primary language. It is also capable of handling queries and producing responses in English at a less advanced level.

Li said the demonstration showed how the bot had been “significantly improved” in terms of its understanding of queries, generation of complex responses and memory capabilities.

When coming up with an idea for the novel, for example, the bot was able to remember previous instructions and create sophisticated storylines by adding conflict and characters, Li said.

“We always complain that AI is not smart enough,” he quipped.

“But today, it understands almost everything you say, and in many cases, it understands what you’re saying better than your friends or colleagues.”

China’s moment
Charlie Dai, vice president and director of technology research at Forrester, said Baidu is “the first vendor in China” to claim it can perform as well as GPT-4.

“We still need more benchmark evidence to prove it, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this is China’s GPT-4 moment, given its long-term investment in AI [and machine learning],” he told CNN.

In contrast to a pre-recorded presentation in March that failed to impress investors, Li demonstrated the bot in real time.

Investors appeared unmoved, however, with Baidu shares down 1.4% in Hong Kong following the presentation.

Baidu ( BIDU ) has been a frontrunner in China in the race to capitalize on the excitement around generative AI, the technology that underpins systems like ChatGPT or its successor, GPT-4. The Beijing-based company launched ERNIE Bot in March, before launching it publicly in August.

The latest iteration will be rolled out first to invited users, Li said. The company did not say when it would be made publicly available.

ERNIE Bot has quickly gained traction, amassing more than 45 million users after reaching the top of China’s app stores at one point, according to the company. ChatGPT, released last November, surpassed 100 million users in its first two months, according to a March report by Goldman Sachs analysts.

Local competition
Baidu faces competition in China, from companies like Alibaba (BABA) and SenseTime, which have also shown off their own ChatGPT-style tools.

Baidu says its service stands out because of its advanced understanding of Chinese queries, as well as its ability to generate different types of responses, such as video and audio.

In comparison, GPT-4 is also capable of analyzing photos, but currently only generates text responses, according to its developer, OpenAIBaidu is the market leader in China, Dai said.

But competition in this space “is just beginning, and AI technology leaders like Alibaba … Huawei, JD Cloud, SenseTime, and Tencent all have a chance to lead,” he said.

Some critics say new deals from Chinese firms will add fuel to the existing US-China rivalry in emerging technologies. Li has tried to dispel the comparison, saying previously that the company’s platform is “not a tool for confrontation between China and the United States.”

But Baidu has previously touted how ERNIE can outperform ChatGPT in some situations, saying its bot has scored higher than OpenAI on several academic exams.

The Chinese company also announced on Tuesday that it has updated its suite of services to integrate the latest enhancements from ERNIE. Popular search engine Baidu can now use the tool to produce more specialized results, while its mobile mapping app can help users book services, such as taxis, according to Li.

In doing so, “Baidu is also the first Chinese technology leader to have made great progress in modernizing a large part of its products” with an AI model, Dai said.

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