Baidu Hits Apple With Lawsuit over Fake Versions Of Its Own ChatGPT AI

Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google in the mainland, recently hit Apple, along with several app developers, with a lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed at the Beijing Haidian People’s Court, accuses the fruit company and said developers of distributing fake copies of Ernie bot, the technology company’s chatbot.

For context, Ernie  – an acronym for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration” is Baidu’s closest equivalent to the popular and disruptive US-made chatbot, ChatGPT. As per the Chinese company’s lawsuit, the app developers that were fingered have reportedly been pushing out counterfeit copies of its chatbot via Apple’s app store. In a posting on its official WeChat page, the company says that it still doesn’t have an official app for the bot. “Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie app you see from App Store or other stores are fake,” it said.

For now, Ernie is only available to users that have applied for access to the chatbot and received access codes upon approval. Baidu also warns potential testers not to sell the access codes, nor buy them from anybody selling them in the open.

What makes Ernie so special in the context of the chatbot ecosphere goes all the way back to last year, when Baidu CEO, Robin Li, stated that its AI chatbot already had capabilities nearly as efficient as GPT-4. For another matter, Apple isn’t the company being sued over AI chatbot issue either; down in Australia, OpenAI, another AI research firm, is currently being sued for a multitude of reasons, some of which include copyright infringement and a possible defamation lawsuit on the way.

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Ernie notwithstanding, ChatGPT and its ability to produce, interact, and conduct near-natural conversations have been disrupting the world of AI and technology, to the degree that it can be described as a maelstrom of opportunities. From being able to write entire essays for a test, to writing an entire article with it – it’s come to a point that even Microsoft has incorporated its own ChatGPT-like AI into Bing.

At the time of writing, Apple has yet to respond to Baidu’s lawsuit, and apps that claim to be using Ernie were still being listed on the App Store.

(Source: Reuters, Hot Hardware)

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