Baidu AI’s Ernie large language model (LLM) is seen as a straight swap for global partner Google Gemini AI on the Galaxy S24 series.
Google services are currently unavailable in the country and this collaboration, announced last week, was seen as the South Korean electronics titan’s best bet to have a wider share of the world’s largest smartphone market.
Microsoft is promoting Bing Chat in China, but no other U.S.-developed AI such as ChatGPT or Google Bard is officially available in mainland China or Hong Kong.
AI is at the heart of technological development in China as 40 LMMs were approved by the state in the second half of 2023, as we reported late last month.
Huawei to Oppo and Vivo are all domestic vendors in mainland China and are building their versions of AI chatbots and LLMs. This is something Samsung is keen to get ahead of with this partnership with Baidu.
What is Baidu’s Ernie LLM?
Ernie Bot was unveiled at Baidu World 2023 by co-founder and CEO Robin Li Yanhon, becoming the first significant generative AI released from the Chinese tech sector.
“Ernie Bot has completed a series of significant updates in its abilities of understanding, prompting, reasoning and memorizing,” Li said. “Its generalized abilities are by no means inferior compared to GPT-4.”
As reported via Reuters in December last year, Wang Haifeng, Chief Technology Officer for Baidu said that Ernie had reached over 100 million users since its release in August of 2023.
Baidu has also made efforts to expand its offerings in collaboration with the Chinese state-backed Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences (BAQIS). The search giant offered to donate a quantum computing lab, which is integral to developing more AI tools and technology.
China’s AI race
The U.S. has made significant efforts to stop or at least limit China’s access to advanced processors used for AI and high-performance computing (HPC) applications across the past year.
These attempts to stunt the development of AI’s based in China is down to tensions and White House security concerns, which had seen some validation in a recent landmark chip bust to the tune of $11.6 million last month.
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