© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Men interact with a Baidu AI robot near the company logo at its headquarters in Beijing, China April 23, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese search giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:) will set up a venture capital fund of 1 billion yuan ($145 million) to back start-ups focused on content generated by artificial intelligence applications, it said on Wednesday.
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 added.
Chinese tech companies have raced to release their own LLMs following the dramatic success of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot released by Microsft-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 (NYSE:) 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.