Tech Giant Baidu Breaks Silence After Its AI Chatbot Ernie Accused Of Having Chinese Military Links

Tech giant Baidu is breaking its silence after its AI chatbot was accused of having strong links with China’s military research division.

The news comes from a leading Hong Kong-based media outlet that ended up citing one academic paper arising from a university linked to the People Liberation Army’s division for cyberwarfare. This paper confirmed how the division tested the whole AI system across its chabot dubbed Ernie among other sources including the AI enterprise iFlyTek’s Spark. The former and the latter are both considered to be language-based AI chatbots that work in a manner that’s similar to OpenAI’s tool ChatGPT.

The South China Morning Post also proved how the company’s stocks fell by more than 11.5% recently and that led the tech giant to deny any kind of affiliation about links to the Chinese Military. It similarly failed to accept the reports about it engaging in business collaborative efforts with the authors of the paper or the linked institutions.

The company added how the famous Ernie Bot is up for grabs for the general public only and is solely designed to be used by them as well. Moreover, the academic paper confirmed from the PLA Information Engineering University how the authors were giving prompts to the Ernie chatbot to produce different kinds of military response simulations for troops situated in Libya after they came under attack by the American military forces.

The company justified its role in this matter, adding how any researchers making use of large language models like Ernie Bot would have made use of the options available to anyone interacting with the Chatbot as it was a tool open for public use.

Similar to how ChatGPT works, it can produce responses after users throw queries in its direction or put out requests toward the chatbot. This would produce content depending on the prompts rolled out at the start.

Meanwhile, it must be kept in mind how the tool functions in a similar fashion to those in China that make use of internet service online. The Ernie Bot would also have to face censorship laws employed in the nation like other internet services. Therefore, it cannot roll out replies to queries it feels are too political or controversial or deemed as taboo by lawmakers in the Chinese nation.

The report from the South China Morning Post started to describe a certain kind of physical link arising between the PLA division and chatbot Ernie. There was a reference provided that has been altered since then to prove how the PLA lab ended up carrying out system trials across Baidu’s AI model.

The massive hit that Baidu’s stock took recently arose from a host of investors who feared that government and military links from China may cause the company to end up getting sanctioned by US officials over the growing and concerning behavior. It’s quite like how telecom giant Huawei was forced to undergo after America referred to it as a major threat to national security.

As it is, the relationship between both America and China has not been great, especially when you look at the recent past where plenty of trade disagreements arose as well as the tech world, and matters linked to Taiwan. The latter is ruled by itself and is considered to be a major strategic ally of the US but China likes to call it one of its renegade provinces and threatens to capture it by force if it deems it necessary.

Photo: Digital Information World - AIgen/HumanEdited

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