China's Baidu makes generative AI chatbot available to public

China's largest web search provider Baidu has released its generative artificial intelligence chatbot to the public amid strict government regulations on online speech.

Baidu made its chatbot dubbed Ernie Bot available to the public on Thursday. The company says the system can answer users' questions.

But Ernie Bot did not return any concrete answers to a reporter's question about the deadly 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The chatbot said it does not have any relevant information about the matter.

The government says texts, images, videos and other AI-produced content for people in China must reflect what it calls the country's "core socialist values."

In 2017, major IT company Tencent had to suspend its AI chatbots after they apparently criticized the Chinese Communist Party.