It’s only natural for the “Google of China” to follow in Google’s footsteps, which is why it’s not all that surprising that Baidu has unveiled its own virtual assistant that’s going to be taking on the likes of Cortana, Google Now, and Siri. Known as Duer, this artificial intelligence-powered assistant will be available on Android in the near future, and will do pretty much everything that its competitors can do, albeit in a somewhat simpler manner.
China’s largest search engine is taking on Apple, Google, and Microsoft with a new virtual assistant. During the company’s 10th annual Baidu World conference, CEO Robin Li unveiled the artificial intelligence-powered Duer. The assistant, which takes the form of a robot mascot, factors in location and personal preferences when providing answers, and has real-time awareness of promotions and offers. “In the past, only the privileged few—those in very similar positions in companies or other organizations—had personal assistants,” Li said in a keynote speech. “With Duer, every ordinary person can now have a powerful personal assistant who can provide valuable life services—for free.” Different from existing programs like Siri, Google Now, or Cortana, Duer can actually, well, do things (hence the name). It fulfills requests for restaurants and food delivery, pet-related services like grooming, and movie theater ticket purchases.