Chinese search engine giant Baidu has claimed its ChatGPT rival had outperformed OpenAI’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in a series of tests. 

Ernie 3.5, the latest iteration of the Ernie AI model, exceeded “ChatGPT in comprehensive ability scores”, Baidu said in a statement on Tuesday (27 June).

Baidu pointed to a test run by the China Science Daily newspaper, which ran tests using AGIEval and C-Eval – benchmarks usually used to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of AI models. 

Beijing-based Baidu provides a full AI stack, which consists of AI chips, deep learning framework and core AI capabilities, according to research firm GlobalData.

The news comes as companies scramble to make headway in the generative AI race since the launch of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT. 

Baidu was the first of Big tech company in China to release a ChatGPT rival, but companies like Alibaba and Tencent followed shortly after with their own AI models. 

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By GlobalData

The search engine giant said its new Erine 3.5 model is packed with better inference efficiency – which will mean cheaper iterations in the future, according to Reuters

The news comes as global investment in AI fell substantially last year.

According to research firm GlobalData, the value of AI deals plummeted to $72.9bn last year, a dramatic drop from $127.2bn in 2021.

Investment had been steadily growing since 2019 which saw $58.4bn invested into the market. This increased in 2020, where it totalled $83.4bn.