Baidu, one of China’s largest technology companies, has announced the launch of its own artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot called “Ernie Bot.

A new AI chatbot, dubbed “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese and “ERNIE Bot” in English, is set to debut soon. Currently undergoing internal testing, ERNIE (“Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration”) has been built on a language model first introduced by Baidu in 2019.

This innovative project has since evolved, enabling users to create poems and papers and generate images using text prompts. As the third iteration, ERNIE is constantly being improved by researchers who strive to enhance its abilities to learn multiple tasks like a human.

Language models like ERNIE are trained using vast amounts of online data to produce intriguing responses to user inquiries.

Baidu has made a significant impact in the AI industry with its latest announcement, though the company has not disclosed the appearance or integration of the tool.

Following the news, Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares saw a boost of 16%. According to Daniel Ives, Managing Director of Wedbush Securities, Baidu’s investments in AI can be perceived as both an offensive and defensive move in the competitive landscape of China, with the company being a key player in the AI race among Chinese Big Tech.

The announcement comes on the heels of Google’s recent unveiling of its chatbot tool, “Bard,” as they aim to challenge the viral success of ChatGPT.