Baidu plans to launch an AI chatbot service in March 2023 that will be embedded into its main search engine, following OpenAI and Google.
Heaptalk, Jakarta — China’s search engine company, Baidu Inc., is reported to release an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot service in March 2023. The AI chatbot service is planned to be embedded into Baidu’s main search services.
The service which has yet to be named will provide a conversation-style search experience similar to ChatGPT developed by OpenAI, according to a person familiar with the matter as reported by Bloomberg.
Baidu has been conducting AI research for years to shift from online marketing to deeper technology, spending billions of dollars. The company has developed a large-scale machine-learning model called Ernie, which was first released in 2019. Ernie will be the basis for developing an AI chatbot-based search engine.
The latest addition, Ernie 3.0 Titan, launched in December 2022. According to the Baidu website, Ernie has been widely deployed across finance, healthcare, insurance, equity, Internet, logistics, and other fields.
During an internal talk in December 2022, the CEO of Baidu Robin Li mentioned ChatGPT as an example of a development area where companies can become leaders. “I am so glad that the technology we are pondering every day can attract so many people’s attention. That is not easy,” said Robin based on a transcript viewed by Bloomberg. However, Robin warned that the commercialization of generative AI could also be challenging.
The plan to launch the AI chatbot by Baidu certainly will excite competition in the AI field that OpenAI had previously started with the launch of ChatGPT and Google‘s plans to develop similar technology.
Launching Baidu Apollo, an autonomous driving vehicle
Prior to the AI chatbot service, the company announced the large-scale expansion of the commercial operation of fully unmanned autonomous driving namely Baidu Apollo in Wuhan, China, on December 26, 2022. The technology has achieved three breakthroughs in area expansion, volume increase, and time increase.
In 2023, Baidu Apollo will continue to expand its business scale and plans to gradually increase the deployment of 200 fully unmanned operating vehicles across the country, striving to build the world’s largest unmanned operating service area.
The relevant person in charge of Baidu said “Baidu Apollo relies on a solid AI technology base to create a safe, intelligent, and efficient autonomous driving technology system, and realizes from fully unmanned operation to large-scale commercial operation.”
Further, the source person delivered that at present, the speed of progress in the generalization ability of autonomous driving technology exceeds expectations, and the delivery time of the new city technology is only 20 days.