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- Baidu shares jumped more than 15% on news it is on track to roll out its answer to ChatGPT in March, reports say.
- Ernie Bot is expected to start as a standalone feature before being integrated into its search engine, per Reuters.
- ChatGPT isn’t available in China, giving Baidu a clearer run at the country’s AI market.
Shares in Baidu surged to highs unseen since 2021 after the company said it is on track to roll out its ChatGPT competitor “ERNIE Bot” in March.
The Chinese search-engine giant closed up 15.3% Tuesday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the biggest jump since March. Baidu ADRs rose 15% pre-market on the NASDAQ after the company said in a statement that it expects to wrap up internal testing of the AI tool ahead of launching it next month, according to Bloomberg.
A source told Reuters Baidu plans to make Ernie available as a standalone application first and gradually merge it into its search engine by incorporating chatbot-generated results when users make search requests.
ERNIE bot is the latest in a flurry of AI tools to hit the market in response to huge hype around OpenAI’s ChatGPT, with Baidu’s competitor Google announcing it was trialling Bard, a chatbot which is expected to be made available to the public in a few weeks.
ChatGPT is not available in China though, giving Baidu a clearer run at market compared with US companies.
Investors have been quick to pile into AI stocks in hopes of capitalizing on the buzz around the capabilities of AI, with both US and Chinese stocks seeing big surges since the start of the year.
ChatGPT was enlisted by media companies like BuzzFeed to run some content on the website, with the promise of further potential automation driving its share price up more than 200% at one point this month.
Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest is strongly bullish on AI technology over the next decade, suggesting in its Big Ideas 2023 report that ChatGPT could handle 8.5 billion queries per day by 2030, the capacity at which Google currently operates.
Baidu didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.