Baidu working on AI
China’s Baidu Inc. has announced plans to complete internal testing of its language model, “Ernie Bot,” in March. Ernie, which stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” is a large AI-powered language model that was introduced in 2019. The model has been developed to perform various tasks such as language understanding, language generation, and text-to-image generation. Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares saw a significant increase on the news of the development of Ernie Bot, jumping as much as 13.4%.
The global interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI) has been growing rapidly and many tech companies are investing heavily in the technology. Baidu aims to make Ernie Bot available as a standalone application, with the aim of gradually merging it into the search engine by incorporating chatbot-generated results when users make search requests.
One of the leading players in the AI space is Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has been receiving a lot of buzz since its release in November. Although ChatGPT is not available in China, some users have found workarounds to access the service. Microsoft has invested $1 billion in San Francisco-based OpenAI and has plans to increase its investment. The company has also integrated OpenAI’s image-generation software into its Bing search engine, which presents a new challenge to Alphabet’s Google.
Alphabet’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced in a blog post that the company is opening a conversational AI service called Bard to test users for feedback, with plans for a public release in the coming weeks. Pichai added that Google plans to add AI features to its search engine to synthesize material for complex queries.
Baidu, based in Beijing, has been a first mover in China on other tech trends. In late 2021, when the metaverse became a new buzzword, the company launched “XiRang,” which it described as China’s first metaverse platform. Although the platform received criticism for not offering a high-level immersive experience, Baidu stated that it was a work in progress.
Baidu has been investing heavily in AI technology, including in cloud services, chips, and autonomous driving. The company aims to diversify its revenue sources and remain at the forefront of technology advancements.
Baidu’s Ernie Bot project is a significant development in the AI space, and the company is joining the global race to create the best generative AI technology. The completion of internal testing in March is a crucial step for Baidu, and the company’s investments in AI technology are aimed at maintaining its position as a leader in the industry.
BIDU Stock Price Forecast & Analysis
15 analysts have predicted an average target price of USD 168.52 for Baidu Inc over the next 12 months. The average analyst rating for the company is considered a “Strong Buy,” indicating a positive outlook for its future growth. Stock Target Advisor’s own analysis of the company gives a “Bearish” rating, which is based on 2 positive signals and 6 negative signals.
Despite the mixed views from analysts, Baidu Inc’s stock price has seen a positive change over the past week, rising by +2.89%. In the past month, the stock price has increased by +7.95%, but has seen a decline of -9.67% over the past year. The last closing price for Baidu Inc was USD 143.06.
Overall, the future outlook for Baidu Inc remains uncertain, with varying opinions from analysts and fluctuations in its stock price. However, the company’s commitment to expanding its AI technology offerings and diversifying its revenue sources may provide a positive outlook for long-term growth.