China’s Baidu makes AI chatbot Ernie Bot publicly available

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence firm Baidu has made its ChatGPT-equivalent language model, Ernie Bot, fully available to the public. The company’s stock price rose by over 3% following the announcement. Beijing has taken steps recently to regulate the AI industry. Baidu’s CEO said Thursday that the firm will be able to collect massive real-world human feedback through Ernie Bot’s release, and that this would help improve the tool. Ernie Bot generates text and images in response to questions and prompts provided by users. The app topped the charts for free apps in China by the afternoon. Two other AI companies in China, Baichuan and Zhipu AI, also launched their AI language models Thursday.