Baidu, the Chinese search giant, announced on Wednesday that it will establish a venture capital fund worth 1 billion yuan ($145 million) to support startups focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) applications in content generation. Additionally, the company plans to launch a competition inviting developers to create applications using its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products.
China has witnessed a rapid proliferation of LLMs since 2020, with nearly 80 organizations in the country releasing their own models. This year, China’s LLM releases have slightly surpassed those of the United States, reflecting the intense competition in the AI field. The success of OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, has played a significant role in driving this trend.
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 31, 2023
In March, Baidu introduced Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered LLM, following the footsteps of other Chinese tech companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. In response to the growing number of LLMs, China published draft regulations in April that outline guidelines for the use of generative AI.
The establishment of Baidu’s venture capital fund and the developer competition demonstrate the company’s commitment to supporting AI startups and fostering innovation in the content generation space.