On March 23rd, a blogger on Weibo published an article that questioned ERNIE Bot’s image generating function has all but copied “StableDiffusion”, and that ERNIE Bot has limitations in its Chinese semantic understanding. To this, Baidu responded that ERNIE Bot is a big language model fully developed by the company, and the ability of words to generate pictures comes from the big model ERNIE-ViLG.
At the same time, Baidu also claimed that in large model training, publicly available data from around the world and on the internet was used, which was in line with industry practice. Baidu remains optimistic about its own scientific research ability, and that will help ERNIE Bot continue to learn and grow as it is put into public use.
On March 16th, Baidu announced ERNIE Bot’s invitation test scheme and demonstrated its creative abilities in literary creation, commercial copywriting, mathematical calculations, Chinese understanding and multimodal generation.
On March 22nd, Robin Li, founder, chairman and CEO of Baidu, responded to concern’s about ERNIE Bot.
When asked, why videos were used to demonstrate how ERNIE Bot works at the unveil event on March 16th, Li responded: “I started out hoping to demonstrate the use of ERNIE Bot live. Because ERNIE Bot is a product of man-machine dialogue, it has strong interactive attributes, but then two factors made me change my mind: the first is that the answers given by generative AI may not always be the same every time, which will bring certain uncertainty to the whole release. Second, in all similar unveiling events, there is no precedent for live demonstrations, but all recorded videos, so it is not out of place for Baidu to do the same.”
In view of the fluctuation of Baidu‘s stock price on the day of ERNIE Bot’s release, Li commented: “The temporary decline in stock price was simply due to the fact that not everyone has had a chance to test the ERNIE Bot, so this reaction may have caused the a panic. When they have the opportunity to give it a try, I believe that the stock price will rise.”
On March 16th, the day before the introduction event, OpenAI Company launched its GPT-4 multimodal pre-training model, which not only supports text, but also supports image recognition input and output. Talking about the comparison between ERNIE Bot and GPT-4, Robin Li explained: “Baidu has been focusing on the function of generating pictures from words for a long time, and users are working with them well. However, ChatGPT itself does not have the ability to generate pictures. Looked at from another angle, ChatGPT lags behind, because ERNIE Bot already has this ability.“
“At first, everyone said that GPT-4 was released across the times and shook people’s senses. In fact, its ability is not to generate pictures from words, but to recognize pictures. Moreover, we have only seen examples on its official website at present, no one has experienced them,” Robin Li said.
In addition, Li also talked about ERNIE Bot’s industrial value and opportunities. He believes that the next OpenAI will hardly appear in Chinese startups. Li said: “ERNIE Bot will not subvert the search function, but will expand the search boundary. But this is only a tiny part of the whole story, and the bigger story is actually in the cloud. ERNIE Bot will fundamentally change the rules of the game in the cloud computing industry and bring huge advantages, so that Baidu AI Cloud may become the first in the market.”
“Baidu‘s four-tier technical architecture has been laid out for many years. In the past, cloud computing mainly sold computing power. In the future, when people develop applications, there is no need to develop based on the underlying things. It is most convenient to develop based on Baidu‘s intelligent cloud,” he said.
In Robin Li’s view, for entrepreneurs, the biggest opportunity with ERNIE Bot’s ecology is in its application, and that super applications worth ten times the value of programs such as WeChat and Douyin will be born in the future. “Looking back at the mobile Internet, WeChat, Douyin and Taobao, all of which have been particularly successful, are actually applications. The operating systems are only iOS and Android. It is hard to say that Android is more valuable than WeChat and Douyin. Therefore, the value that can be created at the application level is substanti.”
It is reported that on March 27th, Baidu AI Cloud will hold a new launch event to release a series of ERNIE Bot cloud services and application products. At present, individual users can enter the ERNIE Bot official website to participate in trial. Enterprise users can enter Baidu AI Cloud official website and apply for booking the ERNIE Bot API interface call service test.