Will Baidu’s answer to ChatGPT make a difference? • TechCrunch

Baidu, China’s largest search engine provider and bot developer, appears to be working on its own ChatGPT counterpart. The news, which I reported for the first time bloomberg And The Wall Street Journalwhich pushed Baidu’s share price higher on Monday, reaching its highest point since September.

A Baidu spokesperson declined to comment on the reports. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Baidu, which bills itself as a leader in artificial intelligence in China, is stepping up to build the Chinese equivalent of today’s most powerful chatbot. The question is how much difference a tool can make, and where its limitations lie.

The driving force that has shaped China’s technological development over the past few years is the rise of digital sovereignty, which refers to a country’s ability to control its own country.digital destinyIt could include autonomy in critical software and hardware in the AI ​​supply chain. Episodes of US export embargoes on China have prompted Beijing to call for more technological independence in areas ranging from semiconductors to basic research on AI.

As OpenAI’s ChatGPT shows potential to disrupt sectors from education and news to the service industry, it’s likely that China’s technology leaders and policymakers will consider how AI can also be used to increase productivity in the home. China naturally wants local ChatGPTs, not only to secure control over how data flows through these tools but also to create AI products that better understand local culture and politics.

Baidu’s chatbot is set to debut in March and will first be integrated into the company’s search engine, according to the Wall Street Journal. This indicates that the chatbot will mostly generate results in Chinese. However, the deep learning model is trained on both Chinese and English data sources, including the information learned the outside The Great Firewall, the country’s complex Internet censorship infrastructure.

This is where things get interesting. Like all other information channels in China, Baidu chatbots will undoubtedly be subject to local regulations and censorship rules. as we are books Earlier, the company’s own text-to-image app, ERNIE-VilG, had already been dismissing politically sensitive claims. But conversational AI handles more complex queries than image generators — how will Baidu walk the line between limiting censorship and leaving enough freedom and creativity for its bot?

It is also important for the performance of machine learning core algorithms. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baidu has adapted an open source algorithm developed by Google in 2017, an algorithm that also supports ChatGPT. Most likely, though, there are other key pieces of proprietary algorithms that Baidu acquired or developed to form the backbone of its chatbot.

Hardware plays another important role in training large-scale neural networks. US chip sanctions against China pose a threat to China’s artificial intelligence industry as companies Lose access to advanced semiconductors That supercomputers are big data centers.

However, Baidu believes that the chip ban has a stretch “Limited” impact on its AI business, as we have been informed. In the near term, the company “has enough inventory already [chips] in hand.” For the future, Baidu relies on the internally developed Kunlun AI chip to drive high-performance computing. Alternatively, it could work to increase the efficiency of its algorithms to take some of the work out of the hardware.

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