Baidu claims its Ernie Bot beats OpenAI’s ChatGPT on key A.I. tests


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Chinese technology giant Baidu has launched its own ChatGPT rival, Ernie bot.

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Baidu said Tuesday the artificial intelligence model underpinning its chatbot outperformed OpenAI’s ChatGPT in several key areas.

The Chinese search engine has been publicly testing the Ernie Bot in China since it was revealed in March. The chatbot is based on Baidu’s foundational AI model called Ernie. A foundational model is AI that’s trained on huge amounts of data. The latest iteration of Baidu’s model is called Ernie 3.5.

Citing the China Science Daily journal, Baidu said Ernie 3.5 surpassed ChatGPT in a number of benchmark tests. ChatGPT is based on OpenAI’s GPT 3.5 model.

Ernie 3.5 also beat GPT 4, OpenAI’s latest and more advanced model, in Chinese language tests, according to the science journal.

The focus on Baidu’s advancements underscore the intense competition taking place in the area of generative AI with technology giants in the U.S. and China rapidly advancing developments.

Can China's ChatGPT clones give it an edge over the U.S. in an A.I. arms race?

One test cited by the Chinese science journal was based on standard admission and qualification exams such as those required to get into college or qualify as a lawyer. Ernie 3.5 surpassed ChatGPT and GPT 4 in Chinese.

However, it was behind GPT 4 in English even though it was ahead of ChatGPT. This test was released by Microsoft.

Another test focused on Chinese and contains over 13,000 multiple-choice questions covering more than 50 different subjects. Ernie 3.5 was ahead of ChatGPT and GPT 4 in this evaluation.

A third test contains questions on various subjects such as science and humanities and was developed by a group of U.S. universities. Ernie 3.5 was behind both ChatGPT and GPT 4.

Baidu spoke about its advances with its AI as it looks to take a lead in the technology versus rivals such as Alibaba.

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“Just three months after the beta release of Ernie Bot, Baidu’s large language model (LLM) built on Ernie 3.0, Ernie 3.5 has achieved broad enhancements in efficacy, functionality, and performance,” Haifeng Wang, CTO of Baidu said in a statement.

“These improvements are evident in creative writing, Q&A, reasoning, and code generation, as well as in training performance and inference performance.”

Baidu said one defining feature of its latest model is the ability to access “plugins” which are basically apps that can be accessed via Ernie Bot. Baidu’s search feature has been integrated with Ernie Bot via a plugin, for example.

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