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Baidu expands AI across multiple industries

By Fan Feifei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-05 17:30

Chinese tech heavyweight Baidu Inc has updated its enterprise-level large language model platform Qianfan, which covers more than 400 application scenarios, including finance, manufacturing, energy, government affairs and transportation.

Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, said Baidu aims to build the fundamental capabilities of LLM, and support the development of AI-native applications. Li made the remarks at the 2023 Baidu Cloud Intelligence Conference, which was held on Tuesday in Beijing.

Li said the company will launch its latest version of its LLM Ernie 4.0 soon. Last week, Baidu opened its ChatGPT-like LLM Ernie Bot to the public after receiving approval from Chinese authorities.

Baidu rolled out its one-stop enterprise-centered LLM platform Qianfan in March, where users can directly use Ernie Bot's services, as well as develop, train and deploy own LLM services.

Shen Dou, executive vice-president of Baidu, said the Qianfan platform will greatly lower the threshold for the use of LLMs, and allow enterprises to use AI more quickly and efficiently.

The company has unveiled its industrial solutions based on the Qianfan LLM platform. For example, in the financial sector, Baidu's industry-specific LLM can efficiently process masses of information and data, and provide insights about the finance industry, which will further help banks and other financial institutions to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

LLMs refer to computer algorithms that are trained with huge amounts of data and are capable of generating content such as images, text, audio and video. They are the key technology underpinning ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that many experts see as a potential game-changer in the world of high-tech.

A report from global consultancy McKinsey & Co said that generative AI will add between $2.6 trillion (18.9 trillion yuan) and $4.4 trillion in annual value to the global economy, resulting in a significant impact across all sectors of industry.

Banking, high technology and life sciences are among the industries that could see the biggest impact as a percentage of their revenues from generative AI.

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