Baidu Names CTO Wang Haifeng as Head of Ernie Bot Project, Report Says
Liao Shumin
DATE:  Feb 17 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Baidu Names CTO Wang Haifeng as Head of Ernie Bot Project, Report Says Baidu Names CTO Wang Haifeng as Head of Ernie Bot Project, Report Says

(Yicai Global) Feb. 17 -- Baidu has appointed Chief Technology Officer Wang Haifeng to head its Ernie Bot project, tech news site 36Kr reported, after the Chinese tech giant announced on Feb. 7 that it will complete internal testing of its ChatGPT-like service next month.

A number of Baidu employees revealed that top management has set a deadline for Ernie Bot’s launch within a month, the report also said today.

The Beijing-based company is going all out to ensure the debut of its ChatGPT-like service. US artificial intelligence startup OpenAI launched ChatGPT, an AI-powered computer program that can quickly answer questions, at the end of last November. Other Chinese firms also have unveiled plans to enter the AI-generated content field.

Baidu’s technology platform and mobile ecology groups are coordinating with each other to advance the Ernie Bot project, 36Kr reported. The former is responsible for technical development while the latter will carry out fusion with Baidu’s search and content products.

Wang is the project’s chief, with Vice President Wu Tian and Baidu Technology Committee head Wu Hua among the other leaders, the report said.

Wu Tian is responsible for Baidu’s AI tech platform and smart cloud AI products, leading the development of Baidu’s deep learning tech platform PaddlePaddle, which will underpin Ernie Bot’s big model. Wu Hua is a leader in natural language processing technology within Baidu.

Baidu discussed two ways of launching Ernie Bot, the report noted, citing insiders. One was to bring it out as an independent service, while the other was to integrate it into Baidu Search, in a similar way to Microsoft. Microsoft is previewing ChatGPT-integrated New Bing.

Baidu is also looking at combining AI-generated content tech with its WeMedia and short video platform content, the report said. According to a Baidu employees, it wants to make use of AIGC tech to generate videos based on pictures and text from content on its WeMedia platform Baijiahao and then bring online traffic through distribution of such videos.

“Baidu has been criticized by the industry over the quality of pictures, text and videos on its platforms but AI tech enables Baidu to increase content quality easily at scale,” the person added. “Half of the about 10,000 daily new picture and text content on Baijiahao can be used to generate videos with AI.”

Editor: Peter Thomas

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Keywords:   Baidu,CTO,ChatGPT,ERNIE Bot