China’s Baidu to launch ChatGPT-style bot in March – Reuters source

© Reuters. People stand next to a Baidu sign during the World Conference on Artificial Intelligence, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Shanghai, China, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: ) plans to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot service similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT in March, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The tech company plans to launch the service as a standalone app and gradually merge it with its search engine, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

ChatGPT’s technology works by learning from vast amounts of data how to respond to user queries in a human way, offering information like a search engine or even prose like an aspiring writer.

Chatbots in China are currently focused on social interaction, while ChatGPT performs better in more professional tasks, such as programming and writing essays.

Baidu plans to embed results generated by the chatbot when users submit search requests, instead of just links, the person said.

Baidu declined to comment.

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: ) has a $1 billion investment in San Francisco-based OpenAI that it plans to raise, Reuters reported. The company has also been working to add OpenAI’s image-generating software to its Bing search engine in a new challenge to Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc.’s Google.

Beijing-based Baidu is investing heavily in AI technology, including cloud services, chips and autonomous driving, as it seeks to diversify its revenue streams.

At last month’s developer conference, Baidu unveiled three AI-powered “creators” whose technology allows them to take on the roles of screenwriters, illustrators, editors or animators.

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