Baidu Sues Apple Over Fake ‘Ernies’ in Apple Store

In a statement, Baidu emphasised that "Until our company's official announcement, any Ernie app you see from App Store or other stores are fake."
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Chinese search engine giant Baidu has sued Apple and “relevant” app developers over fake copies of its Ernie bot available on Apple store — which is an AI-powered assistant deemed to be China’s response to American ChatGPT.

In a statement released on its official WeChat account ’Baidu AI’, the company said that it had filed the lawsuit in Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers and Apple. The Chinese firm also posted a picture of the court filing, according to a Reuters report.

Baidu emphasised that “At the moment, Ernie does not have any official app.”

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“Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie app you see from App Store or other stores are fake,” the statement read.

Baidu CEO Robin Li had introduced Ernie bot on March 16. During a live-streamed presentation, Li demonstrated a series of pre-recorded demos showcasing the various abilities of the Chinese chatbot to journalists.

But days after announcing its rival to ChatGPT, Baidu scrapped the launch of its multimodal large language model Ernie.

The scheduled webcast was switched to a closed-door event for firms, citing ‘strong demand’. The company stated “intense requirement” for the modification in the arrangement from 120,000 businesses that had requested to try out the Ernie robot. 

According to CEO Robin Li, ERNIE(Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration) has been into tests for around a decade.

This bot was trained on the third version of the LLM, ERNIE 3.0 Titan, which consists of 260 billion parameters, which is 50% more than that of ChatGPT’s

According to the South China Morning Post, Ernie Bot is also able to offer real-time information unlike its rival ChatGPT. 

Baidu’s search engine and two apps were amongst the many Chinese apps and search engines which were banned by the government of India in 2020 as tensions between the two nations intensified.

Shyam Nandan Upadhyay
Shyam is a tech journalist with expertise in policy and politics, and exhibits a fervent interest in scrutinising the convergence of AI and analytics in society. In his leisure time, he indulges in anime binges and mountain hikes.

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