China’s Baidu has partnered with Lenovo to introduce its generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to Lenovo smartphones, in the latest partnership with a phone maker as it seeks practical applications for its AI model.
A spokesperson for Beijing-based Baidu told Reuters this week that the partnership involves Lenovo using its Ernie Large Language Model (LLM) and is similar to collaborations with Samsung and Honor announced last month.
Lenovo did not respond to a request for comment.
The sale of smartphones that offer generative artificial intelligence features for services such as chatbots and real-time translation has become a new global trend after the technology became popular in late 2022 with the launch of ChatGPT.
Research firm Canalys expects that 5% of smartphones shipped globally in 2024, or 60 million devices, will be smartphones with artificial intelligence capabilities.
But AI services powered by American companies like OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, and Google are not available in China, leaving the market to Chinese companies. The Chinese market now has more than 200 AI models on offer, including Baidu’s main rivals Alibaba and Tencent.
Not only could these smartphone collaborations help Baidu in this field, but having its AI features integrated with smartphones could also give the company exposure to a wealth of data that could help Baidu’s LLM achieve to rival AI companies in the US.
“The adaptation of LLM to smartphones is the right time to promote AI-powered features, although they may be limited now. In the long term, they may become a ‘must have’,” said Ivan Lam, an analyst at the firm. Counterpoint research.