According to the chief technology officer of Baidu, its ChatGPT-like chatbot, Ernie Bot, has gained over 100 million users. This milestone was announced during a deep learning summit in Beijing as reported by Reuters.
The announcement itself was made by Wang Haifeng, CTO of Baidu after the bot went public back in August. Before its release, there was a trial period of over five months before it was released to the public in a bit to test the abilities of the chatbot.
This came as the partial unveiling back in March of 2023 left little to be desired. Though that was the case, the company still gained a valuable first-mover advantage in a market filled with other tech companies wishing to bring chatbots before the Chinese population.
One thing that has to be kept in mind, is that the Chinese market in itself is a sort of Walled Garden, where the government has carefully passed a series of AI regulations aimed at preserving specific social desires while balancing the hopes of innovations that AI could bring.
With that being the case, China is pushing hard to not be left behind in the global AI race. Other nations are also grappling with finding ways of balancing AI regulations while minimizing the risks of stifling their local markets.
As for Baidu, the company’s CEO last year spoke at length about Ernie Bot’s potential. Stating that it and other related products could help the company gain greater market share on several fronts such as cloud computing, search engines, smart cars, and other sectors of interest.
Fellow Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, released its own chatbot. For now, China has multiple chatbots fighting for domination in the important Asian market. In a ranking that was published by SuperCLUE, Ernie Bot currently leads against other Chinese-built bots.
Though this may be good news on the domestic front, the same report stated that with a score of 79.02, it is still ten points behind the latest version of ChatGPT.