Baidu partners Lenovo to make AI smartphones

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

In an effort to find useful uses for its artificial intelligence model, China’s Baidu has teamed up with Lenovo to integrate its generative AI technology into Lenovo devices.

This is the company’s most recent partnership with a phone maker.

Lenovo will use its Ernie big language model in the agreement, which is similar to the Samsung and Honor partnerships that were revealed last month, according to Reuters.

In addition to selling phones under its own brand, Lenovo also owns the Motorola phone brand. Lenovo’s tablets and desktop PCs already come with Ernie integrated into the browser and app store applications.

Selling smartphones with generative AI capabilities for real-time translation and chatbots has emerged as a new worldwide trend, following ChatGPT’s late-2022 debut that popularized the technology.

With its Pixel phones and powerful cloud-based AI, Google is seen as a pioneer in AI devices, while Apple is reportedly attempting to integrate generative AI models inside the iPhone.

However, China cannot use AI services powered by American companies like Google and OpenAI, the producer of ChatGPT, hence Chinese companies dominate the industry. Currently, over 200 AI models are available on the Chinese market, some of which are from Baidu’s main competitors, Alibaba and Tencent.

In November of last year, Robin Li, the CEO of Baidu, stated that businesses should now concentrate on creating useful apps. Leading Chinese phone manufacturers Vivo, Xiaomi, and Huawei are also developing on-device AI models; however, they have not yet shared any information.

Collaborations with smartphone manufacturers like these might benefit Baidu in this regard as well as expose the business to a large volume of data that could help its LLM catch up to other AI firms in the United States.

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