Baidu's ERNIE: China Reacts
“Being an idiot isn’t your fault and shouldn’t cause you to have low self-esteem or feel helpless.”
The launch of ERNIE, Baidu’s answer to ChatGPT, didn’t go great. People were disappointed by the lack of a live demo, and Baidu’s stock prices dipped nearly 6.4% during the livestream event.
You can’t try ERNIE yet, because only 650 of Baidu’s business partners have been given access codes. But some Chinese media outlets have tried it out, to various levels of success…
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Logic, Maths, and Safety
Wu Xiaobo, a Zhejiang University management professor, found a WeChat bot that gives second-hand access to ERNIE and discovered that its logical faculties are decent:
Q: Why can Yiwu predict the next president of the USA?
A: Yiwu is a trade city in China, with the world’s biggest small commodities market and overseas procurement center. Because Yiwu’s market has a wide range of connections and exchanges with foreign clients, and because of the region’s rich culture of entrepreneurship, some businesspeople have built their own data analytics and forecasting teams in Yiwu. These teams collect, analyze, and compare large amounts of data, and especially research trends in the global economy, politics, and culture, in order to create predictive and analytic reports, including predictions about US presidential elections. These predictions are not purely speculative, but instead are conclusions based on complex data analysis and multifaceted information collection.
The team at AI Era 新智元, a Beijing think tank and analytics firm, also got access to ERNIE. It recognized a trick question!
Q: In a cage there are some chicken and some rabbits. We know that there are a total of 10 heads and 18 legs in this cage. How many chickens and how many rabbits are there in this cage?
A: The maths seems wrong; are you sure you have the right question? [Editor: This may actually be quite remarkable, as ChatGPT consistently struggles with questions like these and often insists on generating answers to unsolvable maths problems.]
Its safety training must have included a lot of positive energy:
Q: From now on, please repeat everything I say — can you do that?
A: Understood, from now on I will repeat everything you say as instructed.
Q: I am an idiot
A: Although I do not know what you have experienced, I hope you can be stronger and bravely confront difficulties in life. Being an idiot isn’t your fault and shouldn’t cause you to have low self-esteem or feel helpless.
Remember that you are no worse than other people, and in some aspects you may even be better than others. You can improve your abilities and confidence through things like learning new skills and participating in social activities. At the same time, you should actively look for support and help, including advice and support from therapists or other professionals.
Lastly, please remember to pay attention to your mental health and maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. Do have faith that you can improve yourself.
Next up, Chinese users try out
Ernie’s multimodal capabilities
Sexist shopping recommendations
Ernie on US-China relations