China’s Baidu launches $145 million venture capital AI fund to back generative AI startups
Chinese search giant Baidu announced the launch of a 1 billion yuan ($145 million) AI venture capital fund to back startups focused on content generated by artificial intelligence applications, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
The news comes just a month after the company, which is often referred to as China’s Google, unveiled Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered large language model (LLM) similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Baidu is hoping to make its own technology the base of the country’s AI ecosystem.
In addition to the AI venture fund, Baidu is also planning to launch a competition for developers to build applications off its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products, the company said.
In response to the remarkable achievements of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI with support from Microsoft, numerous Chinese tech companies have swiftly entered the market by launching their own Language Model Models (LLMs).
According to a recent report, approximately 80 organizations in China have introduced their own LLMs since 2020, and this year’s releases have slightly surpassed those in the United States. This demonstrates the rapid pace at which Chinese tech companies are embracing and developing AI language models to meet the growing demand for advanced conversational capabilities.
As we reported early this month, Baidu is already using chatbots to help companies “recruit” digital humans to usher in a new era of what’s called Digital Human as a Service (or DHaaS). These digital humans or “virtual people” are a blend of animation, sound tech, and machine learning that create digitized human beings who can sing and even interact on a live stream show.
OpenAI first released ChatGPT to the public on November 30, 2022. Just five days after its launch, ChatGPT crossed one million users, according to a post by Open AI co-founder Sam Altman. To put that in perspective, it took Netflix 3.5 years, Facebook 10 months, Spotify 5 months, and Instagram 2.5 months to reach the one million users mark.
ChatGPT is a dialogue-based AI chat interface for its GPT-3 family of large language models. The mind-blowing ChatGPT is a successor to the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), which is an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text.
ChatGPT was adapted from the GPT-3.5 model but trained to provide more conversational answers. However, unlike the GPT-3, the new ChatGPT demonstrates an array of new capabilities including the ability to engage in conversations with users, write software codes, tell stories, and provide solutions to complex mathematical equations. The beauty of it all is that you can test out the new chatbot for yourself right here.