There has been a recent upgrade to Baidu’s mobile virtual assistant that adds voice-enable local transitions, which is powered by an AI, known as “Duer.” This translates as “Du Secretary.”
A possible translation of of “du” is “to study, to learn.” As Greg Sterling said himself, when you pronounce the word, it sounds like the English word, “do,” which means “getting something done.”
2012 was the year Baidu launched their virtual assistant, where they heavily invested in AI research, the core of the assistant.
What sets Duer apart is the integration of local commerce, as well as the ability to conduct transactions for the end user, like buying movie tickets and ordering food. In the near future, Duer users will be introduced to a broad range of local “on-demand” services.
Instead of relying on knowledge retreval, the new Baidu will put an emphasis on local transactions.