On Monday, the Chinese search engine Baidu posted recorded videos of Ernie, an AI-powered chatbot, summarizing financial statistics and creating PowerPoint presentations, among other business-focused functions.
Images posted by a Baidu representative in a media-focused group on WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app, indicate that the Chinese chatbot has more capabilities than were initially shown when it was first introduced almost two weeks ago.
The ChatGPT-like product was demonstrated to be proficient at producing audio in Chinese dialects, poetry, and images using text prompts back then.
The videos released on Monday demonstrate how the chatbot, which is run by generative artificial intelligence (AI), creates travel itineraries and virtual livestreamers that resemble humans and can promote products using scripts that are customized to the needs of the user.
These films were taken at a conference held behind closed doors by Baidu’s AI Cloud section for the initial group of businesses testing an industry-specific chatbot.
The company said in a statement on Monday morning that the format of the meeting was changed from being a livestreamed product launch open to the media and public to prioritizing the “strong demand” from over 120,000 companies that had applied to test the Ernie bot. It added that this would be the first of many closed-door meetings.
However, the adjustment resulted in a 4.5% drop in Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed stock on Monday morning.
Beginning on March 31, more businesses can join up to test the industry-specific version of the Ernie bot, while those users who were fortunate enough to receive invite codes can continue to test the general version of the app.
According to tests by Reuters, the standard version has a strong mastery of the Chinese language but makes factual mistakes and avoids discussing politics.
China’s version of ChatGPT, known as Ernie bot, was introduced on March 16 by Baidu CEO Robin Li. During a livestreamed presentation, Li took journalists through a number of pre-recorded demos showcasing the Chinese chatbot’s various capabilities.
While the presentation was still being livestreamed, the company’s share price declined, although it later recovered thanks in part to significant demand from the Chinese corporate sector.
(Adapted from Rueters.com)
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