ERNIE Bot Heralds the Arrival of a New AI Society

“To solve problems is to innovate,” once said Robin Li, the legendary co-founder and CEO of Chinese giant Baidu. ”Our real economy transformation and upgrading, innovation-driven, the future to a large extent depends on artificial intelligence. We are very confident that by being in such an era and in such an environment, we have the opportunity to make our own contribution to the progress of society through technological innovation.”

Baidu is now on the cusp of releasing its highly anticipated contribution to the world. On February 7, the company confirmed that it will soon be releasing ERNIE Bot to the general public. This tool will enable users to obtain conversational search results. Similar announcements have been made by Microsoft and Google, the developers of competitors Bing AI and Bard, respectively. Baidu’s tool is based on the original ERNIE, which stands for Enhanced Language Representation with Informative Entities. ERNIE is a deep-learning model for natural language processing that was introduced by the company in 2019.

Baidu is one of the few companies in the world that offers a complete AI stack that now includes four layers: the chip layer (exemplified by Baidu’s own high-end Kunlun chip), the framework layer (deep learning framework PaddlePaddle, which has already surpassed Google’s TensorFlow in the Chinese market), the model layer (PLATO-XL, the world’s first large-scale dialogue model), and the application layer (Baidu’s core search).

ERNIE Bot will enable users to enjoy conversational search results, which will significantly enhance Baidu’s attractiveness to its existing user base of 634 million monthly active users. Additionally, ERNIE Bot will be linked to the Apollo Autopilot platform, Baidu Smart Cloud, and services from partners like iQiyi and Xiaodu. Needless to say, Baidu has already demonstrated its capability to successfully integrate upstream and downstream industries for profitability.

Taking the Smart Cloud as an example, ERNIE Bot will offer its services through Baidu Smart Cloud, enabling  a large number of enterprise and institutional customers to use the APIs and infrastructure provided by Baidu Smart Cloud, which will ultimately bring AI pervasiveness to the industry. Cloud services will then leap from the digital era to the AI era; the evaluation dimensions and operating rules of the cloud market will never be the same again.

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