Hong Kong-listed shares in China’s Baidu rebounded 15.7% on Friday following user accounts of their experiences with the Ernie bot.
This recovery came after a disappointing launch event that led to share price losses the previous day.
Initial skepticism arose due to Baidu’s lack of a live demonstration, which drew unfavorable comparisons to OpenAI’s ChatGPT – the demonstrations were pre-recorded.
However, as users began to post and livestream tests of Ernie, side-by-side with US chatbots such as Microsoft Bing’s ChatGPT-powered bot, positive feedback emerged.
On Weibo, tech blogger Chapingjun, who has over 2.4 million followers, stated that although there is a gap between Ernie and Bing, it’s not huge, and Ernie sometimes outperformed Bing.
Analysts acknowledged Baidu as the best candidate to build China’s strongest ChatGPT rival.
Over 75,000 corporate users have applied for a trial of Baidu Cloud’s Ernie API, and more than 30,000 businesses signed up to test the chatbot service within two hours of its demonstration.
Baidu’s Ernie bot showcases potential amid growing competition in AI chatbots
During the presentation, Baidu demonstrated Ernie’s capabilities in generating a company newsletter, creating a corporate slogan, and solving a math riddle.
Baidu CEO Robin Li claimed that the company’s expectations for Ernie were close to ChatGPT, or even GPT-4, though he admitted the software was not perfect yet.
The launch of GPT-4 earlier in the week heightened expectations and raised the bar for Ernie, but Baidu’s shares bounced back as users and analysts shared their positive experiences with the chatbot.
Ernie’s advanced grasp of Chinese queries, along with its ability to generate text, images, audio, and video responses, sets it apart from competitors like GPT-4.
— Baidu Inc. (@Baidu_Inc) March 16, 2023
While GPT-4 is capable of analyzing photos, it currently only generates text responses, according to its developer, OpenAI.
Additionally, Baidu’s chatbot can deliver voice in local dialects, such as the Sichuan dialect, further distinguishing it from GPT-4.
While Baidu continues to develop its AI chatbot, other Chinese tech giants like Alibaba are also working on their own ChatGPT-style tools.
The competition is heating up, but Baidu remains confident in Ernie’s ability to serve millions of users and empower thousands of industries.
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