Chinese ChatGPT rival disappoints - but does have a cute name

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The conflict of the AI chatbots has stepped up a notch aft Chinese hunt elephantine Baidu unveiled its much-anticipated rival to ChatGPT.

The institution showed disconnected Ernie (short for "enhanced practice done cognition integration"), which analysts judge could beryllium Beijing's strongest rival successful a crowded tract dominated by US firms.

ChatGPT is made by the Microsoft-backed OpenAI, portion Google and a big of ambitious startups are besides processing their ain alleged ample connection models.

The increasing involvement successful the exertion triggered a unreserved among Chinese tech giants to make their own, and Baidu was the front-runner aft announcing past period it would soon person 1 acceptable to launch.

But a presumption astatine its office sparked small enthusiasm, with main enforcement Robin Li admitting that the chatbot was not acceptable for primetime.

"For sure, we cannot accidental it is perfect," helium said.

"So wherefore are we unveiling it today? Because the marketplace demands it."

What tin Ernie do?

Thursday's objection included galore of the hallmarks of what radical person go utilized to with ChatGPT.

Ernie was shown answering questions, completing maths calculations, and knowing antithetic languages.

However, it besides went further by showcasing an quality to make video and images with substance prompts.

Baidu wants Ernie to revolutionise its hunt engine, overmuch arsenic Microsoft is leveraging OpenAI's tech successful Bing.

Read more:
How AI could alteration however we hunt the web

But the objection failed to determination investors, arsenic everything was shown successful pre-recorded videos alternatively than live.

It's besides not publically available, with constricted invitation codes going retired from Thursday.

Hundreds of companies person signed up to usage the tech, however, which Baidu says could beryllium utilized to powerfulness astute devices and driverless cars.

Shares tumbled arsenic overmuch arsenic 10% during the presentation. While they had recovered somewhat by the end, it inactive shaved $3bn (£2.5bn) disconnected the company's marketplace valuation.

Analyst Kai Wang said: "It seems similar the presumption was much of a monologue and scripted, alternatively than an interactive league that radical were looking for.

"There was nary brushed motorboat day either, which apt led to antagonistic sentiments."

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Will this chatbot regenerate humans?

Baidu plays down US rivalry

Baidu brag Mr Li appeared to compliment OpenAI's tech during his presentation, saying it showed the threshold was precocious for companies looking to win successful the space.

His code was live-streamed crossed a fig of platforms, including immoderate that are blocked successful China itself, similar YouTube and Twitter.

"Ernie Bot is not a instrumentality of confrontation betwixt China and the US," Mr Li added.

The presumption came days aft OpenAI announced the next iteration of the tech powering ChatGPT, which has attracted hundreds of millions of users since launching successful precocious 2022.

Microsoft is besides hosting an AI lawsuit connected Thursday, portion Google this week said it would beryllium bringing generative AI to workplace apps similar Gmail and Docs.

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