Baidu, the Chinese multinational technology giant, announced on Tuesday that its AI chatbot ‘Ernie’ will outperform its competitors by avoiding mistakes on important and sensitive topics. According to a report by Reuters, Baidu CEO Robin Li stated that the company is awaiting government approval before launching the Ernie bot.
The chatbot, Ernie, is programmed not to answer questions related to sensitive subjects such as politics, particularly those concerning Chinese government leaders. Li emphasized the need to ensure that artificial intelligence does not generate unexpected or inaccurate outputs, referring to the phenomenon known as “hallucination” in the AI industry.
Li acknowledged the challenges faced by AI models like ChatGPT, often relying on probabilistic frameworks. “Given that LLM [large-language model] is more or less a probabilistic model, this task is not trivial at all,” he explained. Baidu aims to ensure the accuracy and reliability of its AI chatbot while navigating the complexities of sensitive topics.
While discussing the regulatory environment, Li mentioned that industry regulations were not yet finalized and that Baidu would adapt its strategy accordingly as it evolves. With over 20 years of experience operating in China’s search industry, Baidu claims to have extensive knowledge of Chinese culture and regulatory requirements.
Li further commented, “Conversely, companies which do not have extensive experience in providing appropriate online content or lacking a track record of working closely with regulators will face significant challenges.” Baidu’s long-standing presence in the Chinese market positions it favorably compared to newcomers.
In recent months, China’s cyberspace regulator released draft measures governing services powered by generative AI technology, similar to Baidu’s Ernie bot. The measures require content generated by such technologies to align with the country’s core socialist values. Li expressed his belief that these measures would benefit Baidu, as active engagement by regulators in the early stages of generative AI development would raise entry barriers, favoring companies with experience and expertise.
As Baidu awaits government approval for the launch of its AI chatbot Ernie, the company remains committed to ensuring its compliance with regulations while providing accurate and reliable information to users. The evolving regulatory landscape and Baidu’s experience in the industry position the company to navigate the challenges and seize opportunities in the dynamic field of AI technology.