Baidu’s Ernie Bot Surpasses 100 mn Users, Leading in China’s AI Market

Baidu’s Ernie Bot, akin to ChatGPT, has added over 100 million users, Wang Haifeng, chief technology officer of the Chinese internet conglomerate, said.
Baidu Ernie botThis significant user base milestone was revealed at a deep learning summit held in Beijing on Thursday. The revelation follows the search engine giant’s decision to open up Ernie Bot to the public in August. Preceding this move was a period of partial unveiling and an extensive trial period spanning over five months, where handpicked users were granted access to evaluate the chatbot’s functionalities.

Industry analysts emphasized that while the initial partial unveiling in March may have been perceived as underwhelming, it provided the company with a critical first-mover advantage in a market that has since burgeoned with numerous players. Chinese tech entities, both major corporations and smaller enterprises alike, have fervently embarked on developing their versions of chatbots fueled by generative artificial intelligence (AI), Reuters news report said.

This development trails the late 2022 launch of the ChatGPT by the U.S.-based research institution OpenAI, which swiftly ascended to become the world’s fastest-growing software application within a mere six months.

Consequently, OpenAI’s valuation soared to exceed $80 billion, despite its non-profit parentage. Microsoft, in a strategic move, poured $13 billion into a for-profit subsidiary, acquiring a substantial 49 percent stake.

Throughout this year, Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, has incessantly highlighted the potential of Ernie Bot and associated products in fortifying the company’s market share across its primary domains, encompassing search engines, cloud services, and smart automotive technology.

Ernie Bot currently leads among Chinese chatbots, although its ranking of 79.02 falls notably behind the latest iteration of ChatGPT by more than 10 points, as per a recent ranking published on Thursday by SuperCLUE, a platform dedicated to evaluating generative AI-powered chatbots.

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