back to article Baidu sues Apple and anyone else in sight over ERNIE chatbot fakes

Baidu has sued Apple and some app makers after what's said to be fake copies of the Chinese web giant's ERNIE AI chatbot appeared in the iGiant's app store. For those unaware, ERNIE is Baidu's answer to the West's ChatGPT, though right now it's only available in a limited preview to those with test accounts. There are, …

  1. VonGell

    The basis of the technology, its parsing and annotation system, used by OpenAI is protected by American patents: all foreign company will have problems using their AIs in the United States. Therefore, the suing Apple is senseless. What's the point if you can't use it anyway?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      I assume their issue is that it has been made available on Apple's Chinese app store. I'm guessing US patents don't matter much for those publishing apps there, though if a US company could prove they are infringing they could get Apple to take it down.

      And sure, no doubt OpenAI has plenty of patents that Baidu may be infringing upon. But I think it is ridiculous to assume that Baidu doesn't have at least some patents that OpenAI is infringing upon. That kind of patent overlap often happens in new technologies.

      1. VonGell

        Neither Microsoft nor OpenAI have patents on the technology used.

      2. VonGell

        By the way, Google also does not have the patents, which is the reason why Google is not in a hurry with Bard. Google could present the same product 11-12 yers ago.

        1. GrumpenKraut

          Yet another Ilya Geller acount? Would be number five at least.

          1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


            There's never normally more than one active at a time. We're always willing to let people have a go in the comments, though we draw the line at someone accusing us of taking bribes from Google to help keep his AI inventions down and other nonsense.


            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Yes

              It would be a shame to lose Ilya, one of our best remaining kooks.

            2. VonGell

              Re: Yes

              Google goes down. Brin, Page and Schmidt go down.

              ChatGPT and other technology innovations may have been released years ago if Google hadn’t monopolized the search market, the Justice Department told a federal court Thursday.

              That “shows what real competition will do,” Dintzer told Judge Amit Mehta. “What has been going on for the past 12 years is Google has been maintaining its monopoly. Would we have seen ChatGPT six years earlier? Would we see five other competitors competing for search? Those are questions none of us can answer.”


  2. Paul Herber Silver badge

    I've heard ERNIE is very powerful and could be used for autonomous vehicles. It's already running the fastest milkcart in the west!

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Not to mention drawing the Premium Bond numbers. Versatile chap indeed.

    2. VonGell

      Yes it can. Such models were originally developed with an eye to application in robotics, but the intervention of Brin, Page and Schmidt stopped the process. In order not to risk the money they won as a result of winning PA Advisors v Google, these people did everything to stop the pogress of AI and its development. They even sabotaged their own Waymo initiative.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1
        1. VonGell

          Money. They don’t want to lose whatever they have, knowing what American public will do.

    3. Bebu Silver badge

      Fastest milkman in the West.

      A blast from the past! I wonder how much of Benny Hill's material today would pass master.

      His portrayal of a senior chinese official looking remarkably like Mao would probably send Peking incandescent today.

      He must have ticked all today's -ism boxes. His character's "you got croff eals?" still sticks in my mind - the sketch would have been televised before Nixon's visit when mainland China would might as well have been another planet.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Fastest milkman in the West.

        "I wonder how much of Benny Hill's material today would pass master."

        Having partly watched an episode a few weeks ago and saw a "Chinese" character, I'd say none of it. Some 70s stuff seems pretty racist, sexist and homophobic by today's standards, but it was a completely other level

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Fastest milkman in the West.

        Benny Hill is on channel "That's TV" in the evening, or has been, with one of those warning banners at the start about how offensive it's going to be. And at the start of part two as well.

        They've also had "The Goodies" and "Monty Python" and "The Kenny Everett Video Show" and "Till Death Us Do Part" and "Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?"

    4. Jonathan Richards 1


      Would you like to install this app what I wrote?

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: ERNIE

        Upvote for the Morecambe and Wise reference!

  3. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Infringing on an infringing system?

    But wasn't ERNIE already shows to be a clone/knock-off/infringement of ChatGPT? Or was that Google Bard?

    So they are suing infringers knocking off their infringing platform?

    I can't keep all of these straight anymore.

    1. RM Myers

      "I can't keep all of these straight anymore."

      Sounds like you need to ChatGPT who is infringing who.

  4. lglethal Silver badge

    Ignoring the whole AI side of things

    This is interesting because of Apple's strict control of it's walled garden, and the EXTRA strict control maintained over it's Chinese walled garden (due to happily bending over for the CCP).

    So I guess the more pertinent question is, whose palm's were greased to allow the Apps into the walled garden in the first place? Apple China, will do anything to not upset the CCP. Ernie Bot is very much the CCP's pet project. So doing anything to upset the Apple Cart around Ernie seems like it would not have been done without someone receiving a large payoff, someone receiving orders from a party member, or someone being tricked into thinking they were receiving orders from the CCP.

    We'll probably never learn the real truth, but it's certainly fun to speculate.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the whole AI side of things

      But there aren't official (last time I looked) apps for Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, just interfaces to the actual online APIs.

      In fact there are loads of apps that are little more than reskined web pages.

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