Most anticipated Chinese rival to ChatGPT fails
Ernie Bot, the first Chinese competitor to ChatGPT, has been described as bearable and mediocre.
Ever since the release of ChatGPT, Baidu has been working on a Chinese competitor for the AI system. Last week, many people attended the premiere of Ernie Bot, while others sat up into the early morning overseas, watching on PCs and laptops. Sadly, the presentation led to massive disappointment.
Where there is an expectation, there ye shall find disappointment. That’s the problem here. Too many people expected Ernie Bot to at least equal ChatGPT in awesomeness, if not better. What happened was a mediocre display of an AI system that had the bare necessities. Basically, it had similar flaws to when ChatGPT started.
Quick question, though: isn’t that what should have actually been expected? Did it not come across as logical that dear Ernie Bot would need time to acquaint itself with the Chinese people, their ways, language, and culture? Why was there such expectation that it would exceed expectations and blow ChatGPT out of the water?
Alright, that was more than one question that ChatGPT can probably answer for me:
Thank you, ChatGPT. Now, I was actually going to discuss point number three before the AI system answered me. As I suspected, the government’s hold on what may be discussed openly about politics may have a huge part to play in the disappointment. If you ask it anything about Chinese politics, Ernie Bot will try its best as possible not to give you an answer.
In any event, Ernie Bot is starting to see an upturn in voters’ confidence. Some of the more recent reviews have been more positive, even if the AI system is still mediocre. As they work and develop it more, it’s showing more capabilities. For one, it can also generate images for you, which is something ChatGPT can’t do.
Baidu made sure to mention that they didn’t design Ernie Bot to be a competitor in the AI-wars. All it wanted to do was start with a foundation for the future of AI in China.
For now, here’s a really funny meme about Ernie Bot, only one of many online already.
Seen on Chinese Internet rn
Characters = Baidu Ernie’s Chinese name
— Kevin Xu (interconnect.substack) (@kevinsxu) March 16, 2023
Chinese tools have mostly poor quality. Everybody knows it. AI couldn’t be an exception.
Some of them. Others are doing better than Western. A few times in the past I’ve used Chinese web browsers, download tools and PC cleaner/optimization tools and they were better, but they did not get English support for long – it was dropped so I dropped them in return.
The browser was Chromium-based, but it had some settings under-the-hood that are inaccessible otherwise that made it very aggressive at fetching webpage content, which basically meant it loaded pages unbelievably fast, even pages that are being visited for the first time so there is no cache.
The download tool would download at the maximum speed possible, whereas Western alternatives like IDM, FDM or whatever would download at much lower speed.
The PC cleaner/optimization tool would do wonders on an old PC where other, better known tools like CCleaner, TuneUp Utilities, Glary Utilities or anything else barely did anything.
Agree, almost any sw from ‘chaina is often full of all kinds of small annoying bugs, they simply have a different concept of meaning what ‘functioning” stands for.
Just when I though the bullshit couldn’t get any deeper.