Baidu employing Ernie chatbot to overhaul online ad business, says CEO

Baidu is leveraging its chatbot service to revamp the online ad system, so as to inspire creativity through generative AI, among other measures, said Li.

Robin Li, founder, chairman and CEO of China’s top online search provider Baidu (百度, Nasdaq: BIDU), said yesterday that the company’s ChatGPT-like tool Ernie Bot has reinvented the online advertising business for many of its users, with the potential of generating hundreds of millions of yuan in the fourth quarter of this year.

Li said on an earnings call that advertisers using the firm’s AI-driven model, which came out earlier this year, have experienced high single-digit growth in conversion rate over the past three months ending September 30.

He cited the example of Tedu.cn (达内教育, Nasdaq: TEDU), an educational technology firm, which reported a 23.3% jump in conversion rate and a surge of 22.7% in return on investment in the third quarter.

Baidu is leveraging its chatbot service to revamp the online ad system, so as to inspire creativity through generative AI, among other measures, said Li.

The tech titan issued the financial statements for the third quarter yesterday. It posted revenue of 34.4 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion), beating market expectations by a small margin and up 6% compared to the same period last year.

Adjusted net income also scored above market forecasts, leaping 23% over a year earlier to 7.26 billion yuan.

Since Ernie Bot was made available to the public in June, it received several updates to arrive at Ernie Bot 4.0, the latest version.

Companies can access the service via an API. Users now number 70 million, spanning some 4,300 use cases, according to Baidu.

Avatar photo
Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

Articles: 785