The much-anticipated Ernie Bot chatbot from Baidu was launched on Thursday, but investors were let down by its use of pre-recorded videos and the absence of a public launch, which caused its shares to plummet.
Two days after Google launched a flurry of AI capabilities for Google Workspace, the presentation, which lasted just over an hour, gave a look at what might be China’s strongest competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Yet, in contrast to ChatGPT, which was made available to the public as a free chatbot last November, Baidu’s presentation consisted only of a few brief videos of Ernie performing mathematical operations, speaking in Chinese dialects, and creating a video and a picture in response to text requests.
Only a select set of people with invitation codes will be able to test it, and companies can apply to integrate the bot into their products using Baidu’s cloud platform.
When CEO Robin Li was speaking, Baidu’s Hong Kong shares fell as low as 10% before closing 6.4% lower, erasing roughly $3 billion from the Chinese search engine giant’s market value.