Baidu launches intelligent personal assistant 'Duer'

The Chinese company is looking to empower any kind of app with the smart assistant, and provide categorised information to users.

Baidu, the Beijing-based search engine giant and technology company that develops the Chinese version of Google, has launched its own personal assistant named "Duer".

The assistant has been built into the latest version of the company's mobile app, according to a Tencent report on Tuesday.

Robin Li, president and chief executive officer of Baidu, said during the first day of Baidu World Congress 2015 that Duer is based on the company's existing ecosystem that already covers many sectors, such as dining, film, tourism, education, and healthcare.

According to Li, the company's ability to collect and process data, as well as its intelligent learning at the back-end, allows Baidu to categorise information and put a label on various aspects of certain businesses.

For example, when users search for a restaurant, Baidu will be able to tell them not only the location and kinds of cuisine, but also information such as whether pets are allowed, whether any celebrity has ever dined there, and even whether a certain room has a television set.

Duer is already working closely with the navigation and restaurant apps developed by Baidu. Meanwhile, Li said that the company will also engage other app developers to allow them to use the personal assistant to provide their users with better services.

"It's just like during the PC era, when you can put a search box on every website. In the mobile internet era, we could also empower any kind of app with Duer," noted Li in another Tencent report published on Tuesday.

"We hope there will be a day when everybody, young and old, could easily enjoy internet and pursue whatever they want by using Duer."

It was also reported that Baidu would explore the possibility of developing Duer into a physical robot in the future.