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Baidu says AI chatbot 'Ernie Bot' has amassed 200 million users

Robin Li, CEO of the Chinese internet company, revealed the new milestone at a conference in Shenzhen on Tuesday. The chatbot was released to the public eight months ago.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 04:11 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 04:11 IST

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Hong Kong: China's Baidu said on Tuesday its artificial intelligence chatbot “Ernie Bot” has garnered more than 200 million users as it seeks to remain China’s most popular ChatGPT-like chatbot amid increasingly fierce competition.

Robin Li, CEO of the Chinese internet company, revealed the new milestone at a conference in Shenzhen on Tuesday. The chatbot was released to the public eight months ago.

The company last shared its user base number in December when it reached over 100 million.

Li also said that Ernie Bot's application programming interface (API) is being used 200 million times everyday, meaning the chatbot was requested by its user to conduct tasks that many times a day.

The number enterprise clients for the chatbot reached 85,000, Li added.

Last March, Ernie Bot was the first locally developed ChatGPT-like chatbot to be announced in China, but it only won approval for public release in August, one of the first eight AI chatbots China approved.

Unlike many other countries, China bars companies from rolling out generative AI services before obtaining an approval from Beijing.

Recent data shows that rival domestic AI services, particularly the “Kimi” chatbot from a 12-month-old, Alibaba-backed start-up named Moonshot AI, are quickly catching up on Ernie Bot despite obtaining approval for public release later.

Data from AIcpb.com, a site that tracks user visits to online AI services, show that Ernie Bot was visited a total of 14.9 million times across its app and website last month.

However, Kimi was not far behind, with a total of 12.6 million visits in the same month.

And Kimi, which obtained its approval for public release in November, was growing much faster, with visits jumping 321.6 per cent in March from February, while the number of visits to Ernie Bot grew more than 48 per cent, AIcpb.com data shows.

Globally, Chinese generative AI services still lag far behind their Western counterparts. According to AIcpb.com, OpenAI’s ChatGPT remains the world’s most popular generative AI service, with total traffic to the product growing 9% to reach 1.86 billion views last month.

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Published 16 April 2024, 04:11 IST

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