China’s search giant Baidu Inc is setting up a 1 billion yuan ($145 million) venture capital fund for start-ups working on artificial intelligence applications.
The company will also launch a competition for developers to build applications off its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products, it said on Wednesday.
Chinese tech companies have raced to release their own LLMs following the dramatic success of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot released by Microsoft-backed OpenAI.
Almost 80 organisations in China have launched their own LLMs since 2020, with releases this year slightly exceeding those of the United States, a report showed this week.
In March, Baidu unveiled Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered LLM. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd was among the other Chinese companies that followed quickly.
In response to the surge of LLMs, China published draft regulations in April on the use of generative AI.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara