The AI arm’s race has begun, with Microsoft and Google taking the lead as the most prominent tech firms to develop innovative technologies by integrating chatbot artificial intelligence (AI) into search engines—but they are facing a third competitor.
- Another AI chatbot is set to emerge within the next month from Beijing-based Chinese tech firm Baidu.
- “Ernie Bot,” short for “Enhanced Representation Through Knowledge Integration,” was revealed on Tuesday, February 7. It is finishing its testing phase within the next month, potentially launching in March.
- Ernie Bot will likely launch as an app before being integrated into search engines. It is reportedly capable of “language understanding, language generation, and text-to-image generation,” according to Reuters.
Why It’s News
The rush to create and reveal AI-generated chatbots has spurred Microsoft and Google to push these technologies as much as possible, with the latter going as far as to bring the company’s original co-founders out of semi-retirement to help steer its direction.
These two companies will not remain the only AI chatbots on the market forever though. They may achieve the vaunted first-mover advantage, maintaining Bing and Google’s market share over all other search engines. Still, other companies with fewer resources and more flexibility will catch up, as evidenced by the fact that ChatGPT was licensed by OpenAI. Google is similarly partnering with AI safety startup Anthropic, which has its own Claude chatbot.
The delay may be challenging to Baidu’s Ernie Bot, as being a month late to the market could put the Chinese search engine well behind its competitors, Fortune notes.
Backing Up A Bit
OpenAI released ChatGPT on November 30, and in three months, the platform has sparked a rush to use the technology. Microsoft signed a $10-billion deal with OpenAI to integrate the technology into its search engine and customer service features. It opened a subscription service on February 2, and the app has more than 100 million active users.
Google rushed out its own chatbot Bard and revealed it to the public on Monday, February 6. A relative shrug met the technology’s capabilities from Google investors, causing the company’s stock to drop in value last week.