Chinese technology company Baidu on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its generative artificial intelligence (AI) model, Ernie 4.0, saying its capabilities are on par with ChatGPT maker OpenAI’s GPT-4 model.
CEO Robin Li introduced Ernie 4.0 at an event in Beijing, where he described the model’s memory capabilities and showed him writing a martial arts novel in real time. It also featured Ernie 4.0 creating advertising posters and videos.
Analysts were not impressed. Lu Yanxia, an analyst at industry consultancy IDC, said the launch of Ernie 4.0 did not have major highlights compared to previous versions.
Baidu’s Hong Kong shares fell 1.32% in morning trade, undercutting a 0.7% gain in the broader Hang Seng index.
“We should see significant improvements once Ernie 4.0 is deployed, but concrete upgrades are not immediately apparent,” Lowe said.
Other key announcements at the event include Baidu’s integration of generative AI into all of its products, including Baidu Drive and Baidu Maps, Lu said.
Li demonstrated how Baidu Map allows users to access functions with natural language queries powered by Ernie, whereas previously users had to search through thousands of options.
Baidu, the owner of China’s largest internet search engine, is at the forefront of AI models in China amid a global frenzy over the technology sparked by the introduction of ChatGPT last year.
The firm launched a chatbot powered by Ernie. In Marchdubbed ErnieBot, although investors were disappointed to be shown only pre-recorded demonstrations.
In August, Baidu was among several firms that won government approval to release AI products. To the people. Wang Haifeng, Beidou’s chief technology officer, said during the event that Ernie has amassed 45 million users since it was opened for public use.
China now has at least 130 major language models (LLMs), 40% of the global total and behind only the US’s 50%, data from brokerage CLSA shows.
Last week, Beijing published Proposed security requirements for firms offering technology-enabled services, including a blacklist of sources that cannot be used to train AI models.