Baidu AI Cloud partners Samsung Electronics China on generative AI smartphone
- Samsung Electronics China and Baidu AI Cloud have announced a strategic partnership on AI ecosystems.
- The companies will be co-creating a transformative AI experience for the Samsung Galaxy S24 series
- Baidu’s ERNIE’s understanding and generation capabilities are similar to the capabilities of the Gemini Pro.
The new Samsung Galaxy S24 phone has been receiving some rave reviews for its generative AI capabilities. Powered by Google Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Vertex AI, the Samsung S24 is also the first Google partner to use the technology.
While the features have been mind-blowing, there is one small problem. How is Samsung going to sell the Galaxy S24 series in the world’s biggest country – China?
Why is that a problem? Simple – Google is not currently available in China, as the government has banned and blocked the service in the country.
The block not only includes Google Search but also the PlayStore. No one in the whole of China will be able to access any Google. And if they can’t access Google in China, how would they be able to maximize the generative AI capabilities of the Galaxy S24 series, which runs on Google Cloud?
Fortunately, this is not Samsung’s first time at the ball park, and it has a solution at hand. If the devices are not capable of using Google Gemini Pro in China, they would go for the legal alternative. In this case, that alternative would be Baidu.
Baidu and Samsung Galaxy S24 series
Unsurprisingly then, Samsung Electronics China and Baidu AI Cloud have announced a strategic partnership on AI ecosystems. The companies will be co-creating an AI experience for the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, utilizing the advanced AI capabilities of Baidu’s ERNIE foundation model.
The deep integration of ERNIE into Galaxy AI, Samsung’s latest mobile AI product, equips the S24 series with enhanced functionalities including intelligent summarization, advanced typesetting, and real-time call translation.
ERNIE’s understanding and generation capabilities are similar to the capabilities of the Gemini Pro. The upgraded Samsung Note Assistant can translate content and also summarize lengthy content into clear, intelligently organized formats at the click of a button, streamlining the organization of extensive text.
This includes the S24 series’ onboard AI that can now transcribe speech into text in real-time, differentiate between speakers, and support multi-language translation and meeting minutes generation. It enhances efficiency in cross-language communication and office work.
The innovative “Circle to Search” feature in the S24 series, which was pioneered by Google, is also available with Baidu. The feature allows users to perform intuitive searches on texts, images, or videos through simple hand gestures, providing quick and precise results from Baidu Search.
Chen Yifan, vice president of Baidu, stated that the applications of ERNIE bot will become increasingly rich and diverse in the future. With its profound capability to process multimodal data such as text, images, audio and video, and its precise ability to tap into the personalized needs of users, ERNIE is poised to develop a range of AI products that resonate with individual user needs.
In October of last year, Baidu launched ERNIE 4.0, the company’s most advanced and powerful foundation model to date, significantly boosting core AI capabilities in understanding, generation, reasoning, and memory. ERNIE Bot has garnered over 100 million users. Baidu AI Cloud also streamlines AI-native application development with its ModelBuilder and AppBuilder, offering tools for easy customization of fine-tuned models and lowering development barriers.
The rise of Chinese generative AI smartphones
Despite the sanctions on China, the country has been capable of developing generative AI use cases and even 5G phone models. In fact, global market intelligence firm IDC forecasts that by the end of 2024, “over 70% of devices in the Chinese market will feature AI functionality, and AI devices will constitute 55% of the market.”
The increasing demand for generative AI phones in China would only mean that phone manufacturers like Samsung would need to localize the technology that is capable of supporting the functions of the phone and also meet regulatory requirements.
Another report by Counterpoint Intelligence showed that there was a 6.6% growth in the sales of smartphones in China in Q4 2023. While Apple took the top spot, China’s Huawei saw the biggest increase in sales, recording a 71.1% increase. Two other Chinese smartphones, Xiaomi and Honor, managed to sustain growth momentum from Q3 into Q4.
Looking ahead to 2024, Counterpoint Research expects low single-digit YoY growth for China’s smartphone market, bringing it back to growth after five years. Huawei’s mid-end Nova 12 series with 5G Kirin chipsets, launched at the end of Q4 2023, is expected to continue bringing back loyal users.
Apple embraced price cuts in January to capitalize on the recovery and offset the pressure from local OEMs. Chinese OEMs are also expected to focus on generative AI, innovative form factors like foldables, and advanced imaging technologies to boost sales and expand their user bases.
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