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Baidu, the Chinese tech giant, has been making waves in the AI industry for several years now. Known primarily for its search engine, Baidu has been investing heavily in AI research and development and has produced a number of cutting-edge technologies in the field. One such technology is the AI language model ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI.
These first lines you have just read were not written by a human editor. They were written by the artificial intelligence ChatGPT, which was fed the task “Write an editorial about Baidu and ChatGPT”. The chatbot currently experiences criticism because of its potential for writing homework or term papers for the lazy and resourceful.
For the tech giants like Google and Baidu, however, the bot poses completely different risks that even threaten the business model. With Baidu, the first Chinese company, now goes on the offensive: Its own software and ChatGPT competition will be released soon, our team from China reports. The development of new chatbot variants is likely to further fuel the race between the US and China for global AI supremacy.
In today’s second Feature, we look at the Chinese capital, where the end of an institution – known mainly among expats in the diplomatic quarter – is imminent: the bar street in Sanlitun is being demolished.
China’s first entertainment mile of the post-Mao era began sometime in the mid-1980s, with a few market stalls of young migrant workers selling jeans and T-shirts that were intended for export. Otherwise, young fashion did not exist in Beijing at that time. Then the first cafés and pubs opened in the streets between the embassies. That, too, was a novelty in Beijing.
However, the neighborhood had already lost its charm in the past decade after the bars were increasingly taken over by the pimp scene and the local drug mafia. The fact that the last bars are also closing down is, therefore, no loss. Still, it’s worth looking back at a street where many of us have ordered a cold beer in our stressful Beijing working lives.
ChatGPT: Baidu responds with its own AI
The Chinese internet company Baidu wants to enter the race for the most powerful chatbot based on artificial intelligence. As Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, among others, report with reference to internal sources, the Chinese search engine operator will present its answer to the US software ChatGPT in March.
ChatGPT is artificial intelligence-based software that has been trained to mimic human speech using huge amounts of text and data. The tool, made available to the public by the US company OpenAI in November last year, has a very wide range of applications and has recently generated a lot of hype due to its capabilities, which are surprising even to many experts.
In a chatroom-like environment, you can ask the program questions and get answers. Work instructions are also possible – for example, writing a letter or essay based on keywords. To some extent, ChatGPT also masters the writing of program code or journalistic articles.