Baidu is often called the “Google of China” because it offers similar services, including search, maps, email, ads, cloud storage, and more. Baidu, like Google, also invests heavily in AI and machine learning.
Earlier this month, AI News reported that Google was changing its AI review processes to speed up the release of new solutions. One of the first products to be released under Google’s new process is set to be a ChatGPT rival, due to be announced during the company’s I/O developer conference in May.
However, Baidu looks set to beat Google by a couple of months.
Bloomberg reports that Baidu will reveal its own AI-powered chatbot in March. The currently unnamed tool will be integrated into the company’s search product.
Powering the Baidu ChatGPT competitor is ‘ERNIE’ (Enhanced Language RepresentatioN with Informative Entities), a powerful AI model with 10 billion parameters.
Researchers have found that deep-learning models trained on text alone – like OpenAI’s GPT-3 or Google’s T5 – perform well for numerous problems, but can fall short on some natural language understanding (NLU) tasks when the knowledge is not present in the input text.
The first version of ERNIE was introduced and open-sourced in 2019 by researchers at Tsinghua University to demonstrate the NLU capabilities of a model that combines both text and knowledge graph data.
In 2021, Baidu’s researchers posted a paper on ERNIE 3.0 in which they claim the model exceeds human performance on the SuperGLUE natural language benchmark. ERNIE 3.0 set a new top score on SuperGLUE and displaced efforts from Google and Microsoft.
Most of the world’s attention until now has been on language model advancements from the likes of OpenAI, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. However, Baidu will likely get its time in the spotlight in just a couple of months.
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