Baidu – Chinese search giant Baidu received a massive share bump after it revealed its answer to the ChatGPT trend: ERNIE Bot.
On Friday in Hong Kong, the stock surged 14.3%, making it the top company in the Hang Seng Index.
In addition, the company gained 3.8% in New York during US trading hours on Thursday.
A day earlier, Baidu was the most prominent loser in the Hang Seng Index.
A public demonstration of the company’s bot left investors unimpressed, leading Hong Kong shares to drop 6.4%.
However, CEO Robin Li revealed during the presentation that more than 650 companies had joined the ERNIE ecosystem since February.
The reversal follows the company’s announcement of more than 30,000 businesses signing up to try the chatbot service two hours after the demonstration.
Esme Pau, the head of China and Hong Kong internet and digital assets for Macquarie, said:
“The high degree of enterprise interest is positive, and we expect Baidu to continue to capture China’s enterprise demand for generative AI.”
According to Pau, the company’s shares bounced back on Friday following positive feedback from users and analysts.
The reviews suggested the bot was highly advanced.
During the company’s presentation, Baidu showed its chatbot’s capabilities, like generating a company newsletter, creating a corporate slogan, and solving a math riddle.
According to Esme Pau, the company’s stocks dropped on Thursday due to the demo being pre-recorded.
Because it wasn’t live, investors were skeptical of the authenticity of the ERNIE Bot.
Furthermore, Pai pointed out Baidu’s demo came days after GPT-4 was launched, raising the bar for ERNIE.
OpenAI launched GPT-4 as the latest update to its artificial intelligence technology, receiving wide acclaim from users.
Many were stunned by early tests and a company demo showcasing its ability to do the following:
- Draft lawsuits
- Pass standardized exams
- Build a working website from hand-drawn sketches
On Tuesday, OpenAI introduced GPT-4 to change how the internet is used for work, play, and creating content.
The latest update is trained on online data to create unique responses to user prompts.
The update allows users to perform the following with ease:
- Analyze beyond texts
- Made coding easier
- Pass tests
- Provide more accurate responses
- Streamline work across various industries
Despite its advancement, OpenAI said GPT-4 still has similar limitations to previous versions.
For example, the technology is limited to its data set, which cuts off in September 2021.
Esme Pau said Baidu’s shares were modestly down before its showcase on Thursday, indicating pressure from investors with high expectations after the GPT-4 launch.
“ERNIE also does not have the [same] multilingual capability as GPT-4, and has yet to improve for English queries,” said Pau.
“Also, the ERNIE launch did not provide sufficient quantifiable metrics compared to the GPT-4 launch earlier this week.”
ERNIE is similar to ChatGPT in that the technology is based on a language model trained on a massive amount of online data to create unique responses to user prompts.
Robin Li said Baidu expects ERNIE to be close to ChatGPT or GPT-4.
However, he acknowledged the software has yet to be perfected, noting that it was launched to enterprise users first.
Baidu’s latest service isn’t available to the public yet.
Baidu announced its chatbot development in February.
At the time, critics said the service would only add to the current US-China rivalry regarding technology and innovation.
However, Li shook off the comparison over the launch, saying:
“The bot is not a tool for the confrontation between China and the United States in science and technology, but a product of generations of Baidu technicians chasing the dream of changing the world with technology.”
“It is a brand new platform for us to serve hundreds of millions of users and empower thousands of industries.”
According to Baidu, the company’s service stands out due to its advanced grasp of Chinese queries and ability to create different kinds of responses.
“ERNIE Bot can produce text, images, audio, and even video given a text prompt,” the company said in its statement.
“And [it] is even capable of delivering voice in several dialects, such as the Sichuan dialect.”
However, Baidu is not alone in the development of similar technology in China.
In February, Alibaba announced plans to launch a ChatGPT-style tool.
According to analysts, Baidu has the best advantage in the space in China so far.
“Our view is ERNIE is six months ahead of its potential contenders,” said Esme Pau.
On Friday, Baidu announced a milestone in its transportation business, becoming the first Beijing operator to provide fully driverless ride-hailing services.
Despite its innovation, the company isn’t allowed to charge passengers in the capital yet.
It was previously required to have a driver in the front passenger seat to assume control in emergencies.