China's Baidu Launches $145 Million Venture Capital AI Fund

FILE PHOTO: Baidu's logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Baidu's logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
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China's Baidu Launches $145 Million Venture Capital AI Fund

FILE PHOTO: Baidu's logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Baidu's logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Chinese search giant Baidu Inc 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 OpenAI, Reuters reported.

Almost 80 organizations 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 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.



OpenAI Appoints Former Top US Cyberwarrior Paul Nakasone to its Board of Directors

OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
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OpenAI Appoints Former Top US Cyberwarrior Paul Nakasone to its Board of Directors

OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.
OpenAI showed off the latest update to its artificial intelligence model, which can mimic human cadences in its verbal responses and can even try to detect people’s moods. - The AP.

OpenAI has appointed a former top US cyberwarrior and intelligence official to its board of directors, saying he will help protect the ChatGPT maker from “increasingly sophisticated bad actors.”

Retired Army Gen. Paul Nakasone was the commander of US Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency before stepping down earlier this year.

He joins an OpenAI board of directors that's still picking up new members after upheaval at the San Francisco artificial intelligence company forced a reset of the board's leadership last year. The previous board had abruptly fired CEO Sam Altman and then was itself replaced as he returned to his CEO role days later, Reuters.

OpenAI reinstated Altman to its board of directors in March and said it had “full confidence” in his leadership after the conclusion of an outside investigation into the company’s turmoil. OpenAI's board is technically a nonprofit but also governs its rapidly growing business.

Nakasone is also joining OpenAI's new safety and security committee — a group that's supposed to advise the full board on “critical safety and security decisions” for its projects and operations. The safety group replaced an earlier safety team that was disbanded after several of its leaders quit.

Nakasone was already leading the Army branch of US Cyber Command when then-President Donald Trump in 2018 picked him to be director of the NSA, one of the nation's top intelligence posts, and head of US Cyber Command. He maintained the dual roles when President Joe Biden took office in 2021. He retired in February.