Baidu to deploy ChatGPT-like ERNIE Bot to its ecosystem
A view of the Baidu Technology Park in Beijing, China, November 13, 2022. /CFP
A view of the Baidu Technology Park in Beijing, China, November 13, 2022. /CFP

A view of the Baidu Technology Park in Beijing, China, November 13, 2022. /CFP

China's biggest search firm Baidu will fully integrate its ChatGPT-like ERNIE Bot, which is to launch in March, across its main operations, the firm's founder and CEO Robin Li told staff in a letter on Wednesday.

Since Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT was released in November, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot has triggered a gold rush in the domain for tech firms globally for its seemingly omnipotent capability to complete prompt tasks, such as writing articles, poetry, essays and even code.

Read more: ChatGPT is good only if it's in the right hands

"AI technology has reached a tipping point, and all industries will inevitably go through a transformation. The Chinese AI market is on the verge of experiencing explosive growth in demand, releasing unprecedented and exponential commercial value," Li said.

ERNIE will be integrated into Baidu Search and Baidu AI Cloud, Li said, adding that the addition of ERNIE Bot's capabilities will lead to fundamental changes in the products' offerings and respective markets.

He said the firm also plans to deploy ERNIE with its Apollo Smart Cabin, an operating system for smart vehicles, and Xiaodu's in-house smart devices and services.

Earlier that day, Baidu released its full-year 2022 and Q4 2022 financial results, beating market consensus for four consecutive quarters. The company's stock price in New York jumped over 7 percent in pre-market trading on Wednesday to more than $150 per share.

Baidu's core research and development expenses reached 21.416 billion yuan (about $3.105 billion) in 2022, accounting for 22.4 percent of the firm's core revenue, the financial data showed.

The company's board of directors has authorized a share buyback of up to $5 billion, effective through December 31, 2025.

Besides Baidu's ERNIE, other ChatGPT-related tools are expected to be rolled out to mass users sooner or later. 

On February 6, Google said in a blog post that it will open up the conversational AI tool Bard to "trusted testers" before making it more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group has also said it is developing a ChatGPT-style artificial intelligence (AI) tool, which is currently undergoing internal testing.

Search Trends