Baidu Allegedly To Launch ChatGPT-Like Bot

Report: Baidu to Launch ChatGPT-like AI Chatbot

The Chinese search giant has been working on its own AI technology for years and is reportedly preparing to launch its answer to ChatGPT this March

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Hayley Zhao
2:02 PM HKT, Wed February 1, 2023 1 mins read

ChatGPT, an open-source AI chatbot developed by American company OpenAI, has been the talk of the tech world since its launch last November. Interested folks, ranging from technophiles to casual web users taking a break from Pornhub, have been experimenting with the new AI program, using it to write essays, solve math problems, or even to banter with.

However, many netizens from China were excluded from the party. Like many overseas platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia — you name it), ChatGPT is inaccessible from behind China’s infamous ‘Great Firewall.’ Even with a VPN, China-based users still need a foreign phone number to register an account.

However, it seems Chinese netizens will soon be able to get in on the action: Bloomberg has reported that Baidu, China’s top search engine, is going to launch its own version of ChatGPT as soon as this March.

According to Bloomberg, the name of the Chinese chatbot hasn’t been decided yet, but it will be able to offer users conversational-style answers just like ChatGPT. A Baidu representative declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Chinese magazine Caijing also spoke with several sources at Baidu who claimed that the project is highly confidential and cannot be discussed with the public yet.

Baidu, ChatGPT, AI

Baidu displaying its AI-generated artworks at the 2022 World AI Conference in Shanghai. Image via VCG

However, sources did reveal to Caijing that Baidu aims to integrate the finished chatbot with its search engine. However, the project is not Baidu’s primary focus at the moment, and there is still a long way to go to achieve a level similar to ChatGPT.

Baidu, often considered the Chinese version of Google, has spent billions of dollars on its AI development since the launch of its AI model ERNIE(文心) in 2019. The AI artworks generated by ERNIE 2.0 made the news last year and spurred discussions about the impact of AI art on the creative field.

Cover image via VCG

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