BEIJING, March 17 (TMTPOST) —— Chinese search engine giant Baidu launched the chatbot Ernie Bot at its headquarters in Beijing on Thursday afternoon, disappointing investors and sending its Hong Kong shares falling over 6%.
The company demonstrated the capabilities of this AI-powered chatbot in literary creation, commercial copywriting, mathematical logic calculation, Chinese language understanding, and multimodal generation through pre-recorded videos, without giving detailed information on the parameters of the large model behind it.
This led to sagging confidence in the market, with Baidu's Hong Kong shares plunging more than 9 percent at one point during the presentation. Baidu's Hong Kong shares closed the day at HK $125.1, down 6.36%.
The event was Baidu's biggest offline event in years and was also the first public appearance in nearly two years of its founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Robin Li. In the half-hour speech, Li explained Ernie Bot's verbal ability with the demonstration video and expounded on the prospect of the AI large model and Baidu's deployment in AI.
Just one day before Ernie Bot was released, OpenAI released the multimodal pre-training large model GPT-4. At the press conference, Robin Li said, "Ernie Bot is not a tool for Sino-U.S. technological confrontation, but the product of generations of Baidu technicians pursuing the dream of changing the world through technology. It is the best proof of innovation-driven development."
In addition to literary creation, commercial copywriting, mathematical calculation, Chinese language understanding, and multi-modal generation, Baidu's Ernie Bot is able to generate texts and integrate other capabilities of Baidu in the field of AI, such as the ability to create pictures, and the ability to automatically generate videos according to the copywriting, which can generate content with pictures. However, Li also admitted that Ernie Bot's understanding of English and processing ability are not as good as Chinese. Part of the reason is that the training data sample is not large enough.
In terms of language model training, although there is still room for improvement in the accuracy of generation, the language expression ability has been comparable to the current top generative AI model, and a new form combining AI painting with writing has also been invented.
In early February, Bard, Google’s Chatgpt-like AI chatbot, mistakenly credited the invention of a telescope to another person. The mistake caused the share price of Alphabet, Google's parent company, to drop 7.4% after hours, wiping $105.6 billion off its market value.
However, Baidu seemed to have learned a lesson from Google. The company demonstrated Ernie Bot through videos recorded in advance and paid more attention to the demonstration of its capabilities. In addition, Baidu also tested it internally first and launched the invitation-based test plan of Ernie Bot. Starting on Thursday, the first batch of users can experience the product on the official website of Ernie Bot by entering the invitation test code, so that the chatbot can absorb enough feedback from the internal testing users and help improve the product. Ernie Bot will be put on the market after the internal test is finished.