Baidu launches virtual assistant Duer



China’s Internet search engine giant, Baidu, has unveiled the new virtual assistant ‘Duer’ which will be integrated into its latest mobile search app, a day before Apple’s September product update announcement.

Similar to Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now, using Duer, users are able to speak to a virtual assistant able to help with manifold odds and ends from looking up weather forecasts to helping with the avoidance of traffic. However, Duer takes it one step further and is slated to provide an automated reservation system.

Duer was announced during the Baidu World Summit by the company’s CEO Robin Li. Li gave a live demonstration of Duer, by searching for a restaurant in the Gulou area of Beijing that would allow pets, according to Xinhua.

Li pointed out searching for services often comes with criteria and complicated processes.

At the Baidu World Summit, Xinhua reports that Li referred to Duer as an artificial intelligence-powered assistant, a service designed to match search requests with high-quality services.

Li said at the announcement that Duer is now capable of making bookings at restaurants, buying movie tickets and making pet grooming appointments.

He also said Duer will soon expand its services to other areas such as education, finance and healthcare.

Tech Web reported Duer may become a standalone app and the possibility of Baidu producing Duer robots in the future.

(Photo from Baidu Dumi)

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