SHANGHAI, May 31 (Reuters) - Chinese search giant Baidu Inc 9988.HK will set up a venture capital fund of 1 billion yuan ($145 million) to back start-ups focused on content generated by artificial intelligence applications, it said on Wednesday.
The company will also launch a competition for developers to build applications off its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products, it added.
Chinese tech companies have raced to release their own LLMs following the dramatic success of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot released by Microsft-backed MSFT.O OpenAI.
Almost 80 organisations in China have launched their own LLMs since 2020, with releases this year slightly exceeding those of the United States, a report showed this week.
In March, Baidu unveiled Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered LLM. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 9988.HK was among the other Chinese companies that followed quickly.
In response to the surge of LLMs, China published draft regulations in April on the use of generative AI.
($1=6.9121 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz, Samuel Shen and Jason Xue; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
((Josh.Horwitz@thomsonreuters.com; +86 21 20830007;))
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