Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, a Chinese tech giant that is planning to launch a new generation of its large language model Ernie Bot in March, issued an internal letter on February 22 to further introduce the ChatGPT-style chatbot and the development of AI technology.
The letter comes after the release of Baidu‘s financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2022. Its total revenues last year were 123.7 billion yuan ($17.93 billion), decreasing 1% year over year.
“AI technology has reached a tipping point and all industries will inevitably go through a transformation. The Chinese AI market is on the verge of experiencing an explosive growth in demand, releasing unprecedented and exponential commercial value. Baidu stands as the best example of the long-term growth of China’s AI market and is advancing at the forefront of this new wave,” Li said.
Li added that Baidu‘s plans to fully integrate Ernie Bot across all of the company’s products and services, including Baidu Search and Baidu AI Cloud, saying the addition of Ernie Bot’s capabilities will lead to fundamental changes in product offerings and their respective markets. There are also plans for Ernie Bot to be integrated into the Apollo Smart Cabin and Xiaodu’s smart devices and services.
An interesting example introduced by Li is that after Baidu‘s official announcement, a Chinese science fiction writer came to ask if Ernie Bot could make his creative work more efficient and his science fiction novels more imaginative. A large number of media organizations, some of Baidu‘s largest customers and business partners, have announced that they hope to use Ernie Bot at the earliest opportunity.
Actually, the possibility of ChatGPT replacing human labor entirely has become an issue discussed as of late. Li made sure to point out at the end of the letter that the company is dedicated to doing the right thing to help realize the goal of AI and bring more freedom and possibilities to humanity as a whole.
A large-scale conversational language model, named MOSS, has already been released by China’s C9 League member Fudan University.