Who are Microsoft’s rivals in the latest AI war? Aside from Google, it’s the army of Chinese firms

February 13, 2023

Microsoft might be dominating the AI industry now, but it is not alone in this race. Apart from Google Bard, various Chinese firms are also developing their own AI creations that could soon challenge ChatGPT and Microsoft in general.

Microsoft and Google are the two huge colliding forces in the AI battle of the 21st century. Microsoft’s move to gear its search engine with OpenAI’s ChatGPT has posed a great threat to Google, which greatly generates its revenue from advertising using its Search. Microsoft is gradually catching up in this game by introducing the new ChatGPT-powered Bing, which can generate up-to-date content that perfectly attracts busy individuals. Even though the new Bing is not yet available to everyone, it was reported that more than 1 million people have already joined the Bing waitlist in the first 48 hours it made it available.

To counter this, Google presented its own AI tool called Bard, but its start turned out a bit wobbly after showing an error in its demo. This caused the company’s shares to drop $100 billion. Days after that, Opera also announced that it is injecting ChatGPT into its own browser in the form of a sidebar-like tool that will summarize articles and webpages in bullet form.

Now, more companies are entering this AI battle, and a handful of these tech firms are from China. The news started in January, with a report from Reuters, saying the multinational technology company Baidu, which specializes and invests heavily in AI and internet services, would launch its own AI chatbot service in March. Baidu could be a great threat to Microsoft in this game. Aside from its investments, it also proved its capability in 2019 after its ERNIE model scored 90.1 in the General Language Understanding Evaluation benchmark, beating Microsoft’s MT-DNN-SMART model and Google’s T3. Unsurprisingly, the project that is set to be launched by Baidu in March will be called “Ernie Bot.”

Ernie Bot, however, is not the only AI creation that should worry Microsoft soon. According to Reuters, numerous┬átech firms and startups in China have also been working on AI creations for years. And although Chinese chatbots are primarily focusing on social interactions, some of the newer projects will reportedly function like ChatGPT. Aside from Baidu’s Ernie Bot, Alibaba Group also reported developing a ChatGPT-like tool. Tencent Holdings, meanwhile, is now doing research on the ChatGPT-tool technology. JD.Com and Kunlun Tech are more direct in their promises to deliver a product similar to OpenAI’s chatbot, with the latter sharing plans to have a Chinese version of ChatGPT this year. Other companies that are also working on their own AI efforts include NetEase, 360 Security Technology Inc, Kuaishou Technology, and Inspur Electronic Information Industry.

With this AI craze and more companies joining the race, Microsoft’s dominance in the AI world might soon be in critical condition. This leaves the software company with one option: to move forward. This will be through its continuous AI efforts, which include investments and further research. Recently, the company revealed the third phase of its “multibillion dollar investment” in OpenAI. But would this be enough to remain the victor of this AI war for years to come?

Source: Reuters

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