Baidu’s Free AI Tools for Everyone: Democratizing AI Development

China’s tech giant, Baidu, is making waves in the AI development world. This year’s AI developers conference showcased a range of free AI tools designed to democratize AI creation, empowering everyone – from seasoned coders to complete beginners – to leverage the power of artificial intelligence.

While the US often takes center stage in AI research, Baidu highlights China’s unique strengths: a massive user base, robust AI infrastructure, and a thriving application ecosystem. Here’s a closer look at Baidu’s game-changing approach to AI development.

Free AI Tools for Everyone

One of the most exciting announcements is Baidu’s suite of free AI tools. These user-friendly tools allow individuals with no coding knowledge to create AI-powered chatbots for specific functions. These chatbots can then be seamlessly integrated into websites, search engine results, or other online platforms. This approach differs from OpenAI‘s GPTs, which require users to interact with custom-built chatbots within the ChatGPT interface.

Similar to Google’s cloud and AI offerings, Baidu’s basic free AI tools have usage limits. For advanced features and functionalities, Baidu offers paid subscriptions. OpenAI, on the other hand, charges a monthly fee for access to the latest version of ChatGPT and the ability to integrate it with computer programs.

A Spectrum of AI Models – Choose Your Perfect Fit

Complementing the free AI tools, Baidu unveiled three new versions of its powerful Ernie AI model: Speed, Lite, and Tiny. These models cater to developers with varying project complexities. Coders can select the most suitable model based on their specific needs, ensuring optimal performance and resource utilization.

Building a Robust AI Development Ecosystem

Industry experts see Baidu’s strategy as a comprehensive one, focused on establishing a complete AI development ecosystem. This includes providing not just free AI tools but also a full suite of development solutions and platforms. This approach aims to empower developers of all levels to create and deploy innovative AI applications.

Ernie’s Growing Influence

Since its launch in March 2023, Baidu’s Ernie bot has garnered impressive user adoption with over 200 million users and a staggering 200 million daily interactions with its underlying AI model. Furthermore, Baidu boasts over 85,000 business clients leveraging its AI cloud platform to create a remarkable 190,000 AI applications.

Real-World Applications of Free AI Tools

The conference showcased a variety of compelling use cases for Baidu’s free AI tools, with a strong focus on consumer-facing applications. Examples included tourism chatbots, content creation tools like picture book generation, and intelligent meeting schedulers.

Baidu‘s business departments demonstrated how AI tools can be integrated with virtual live streamers and interactive buying guides, enhancing user engagement and driving sales. Buysmart.AI, a winner of Baidu’s AI competition, leverages Baidu’s technology for their AI-powered shopping assistant connected to the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo. Interestingly, Buysmart is also utilizing ChatGPT for a separate interactive e-commerce app targeted at the US market.

AI for Every Industry

While consumer-facing applications are grabbing headlines, the true potential of AI extends far beyond. Smaller AI models, enabled by free AI tools, can be incredibly beneficial in various sectors. For instance, customer service chatbots, voice assistants, and internet-connected devices can leverage these models for faster and more efficient user interactions.

Even in complex domains like legal consultation and medical diagnosis, smaller AI models trained on specific data sets can deliver performance comparable to larger models. As Baidu CEO Robin Li envisions, future large-scale AI applications will likely be a combination of diverse models, leveraging the power of a “mixture of experts” (MoE) technology.

AI-powered Code Generation

Another exciting area highlighted by Baidu is AI-powered code generation. Silicon Valley tech companies are particularly enthusiastic about this development. Baidu’s “Comate” AI coding assistant, launched a year ago, has already contributed a significant 27% of the company’s newly generated code.

Beyond Baidu, Comate has been adopted by over 10,000 corporations, including Ximalaya (audio streaming), iSoftStone (IT services), and Shanghai Mitsubishi Elevator. These companies have integrated nearly half of the code generated