Baidu claims its AI bot outperforms ChatGPT on key measures


Bloomberg | | Posted by Singh Rahul Sunilkumar

Baidu Inc.’s ChatGPT-style service has outperformed OpenAI’s seminal product on several measures, China’s search leader said on Tuesday.

A logo of Baidu(REUTERS)
A logo of Baidu(REUTERS)

Ernie 3.5, the latest iteration of Baidu’s foundation model, has surpassed OpenAI’s chatbot built on GPT-3.5 in general abilities and outperformed the more advanced GPT-4 on several Chinese-language capabilities, the company said in a statement. It cited a test by the state newspaper China Science Daily, based on datasets including AGIEval and C-Eval, benchmarks designed for evaluating such AI models.

Baidu’s new model also boosted its training and inference efficiency, making it faster and cheaper to iterate and upgrade to future versions. The company’s ChatGPT rival has been in public beta testing for the past three months.

ALSO READ: China’s Baidu to launch ChatGPT-style AI bot called ‘Ernie’. Details here

The Beijing-based search provider debuted Ernie Bot in March as China’s first major riposte to ChatGPT, sparking a race by domestic tech firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to unveil rival platforms. Baidu hopes Ernie Bot — built atop its years of investment, research and development in AI technology — will become the next must-have app in the world’s largest internet arena, luring users back from all-in-one platforms like Tencent’s WeChat.

The company is integrating Ernie Bot across multiple business lines, ranging from cloud computing to smart speakers. Baidu has also set aside a $140 million venture fund to invest in OpenAI-like startups.

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Chinese regulators have said that any generative AI services would need their approval before being rolled out in the country. US sanctions, in the meantime, have deprived Chinese tech firms of the best chips to train their AI models, making improvements in efficiency all the more critical.

“Foundation models are an engine driving global economic growth and represent a major strategic opportunity that cannot be missed,” Baidu’s billionaire founder Robin Li told an audience of Chinese government officials and fellow internet executives in an event Monday.


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