Baidu going full steam ahead to aid LLMs

2023-07-20 08:22:07China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Baidu Inc will double down on efforts to bolster the application of large language models in a broad range of industries, and play an active role in the top-level design and formulation of national standards for testing LLMs, a senior executive at the Chinese tech heavyweight said.

The company will participate in the research and development of core technologies for LLMs, industrial application and establishment of national standards and ecosystem for LLMs, to boost the healthy development of China's artificial intelligence industry, said Wu Tian, vice-president of Baidu.

The country's first standardization task force for LLMs was formed during the sixth World Artificial Intelligence Conference, which concluded in Shanghai on July 7.

The special team, headed by the Shanghai artificial intelligence innovation center, consists of six joint team leaders — Baidu, Alibaba Cloud, iFlytek Co Ltd, 360 Security Technology Inc, Huawei Cloud, and the research institute of China Mobile.

LLMs refer to computer algorithms that are trained with huge amounts of data and capable of generating content such as images, text, audio and video. They are the key technology underpinning ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by US-based AI research company OpenAI.

According to a new report by global market research company International Data Corp, the LLM launched by Baidu topped the list among all China-made ones in terms of comprehensive technical capabilities.

Ernie Bot, Baidu's ChatGPT-like AI LLM, received seven full marks out of 12 indicators, and secured the top position in algorithm model, general capabilities, innovation abilities and industrial coverage.

A total of 14 LLM developers, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Huawei Technologies Co and iFlytek participated in the assessment.

Ernie Bot, which boasts strong capabilities in fields such as literary creation, business writing, mathematics, and understanding Chinese language, has been applied in segments including energy, finance, education and healthcare, Baidu said.

So far, more than 150,000 enterprises have requested beta testing for Ernie Bot.

As of May, China had developed at least 79 AI large language models, or rivals of ChatGPT, according to a report released by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China.

The emergence of generative AI and large language models presents a transformative potential of AI in various industries to help people and organizations achieve more and have a positive impact on society, said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu in a previous interview.

On responsible use and advancement of AI technology, Li said to prevent AI from getting out of control, nations with advanced AI technologies must cooperate in establishing the necessary rules and regulations.

Lu Yanxia, research director at IDC China, said Chinese tech companies have gained an upper hand in offering users AI-powered conversational results based on Chinese language and culture. "Generative AI has brought new business opportunities for domestic AI servers, cloud computing and chip companies," Lu said.

Last week, the Chinese authorities issued a 24-item guideline for managing generative AI services, which will take effect on Aug 15.The country will encourage the innovative development of generative AI and supervise on the fastdeveloping technology using methods compatible with innovation and development, according to the interim measures.


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