Everybody panic! Google will conduct an event next week that can only be defined as a “emergency.” According to an invitation sent to The Verge, the event will focus on “using the power of AI to reimagine how people search for, explore, and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever to find what you need”; in other words, Google will fire up its photocopier and place OpenAI’s ChatGPT on the platen. On February 8, the 40-minute event will be broadcast live on YouTube.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, had its results call yesterday, and Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stated that “very soon, consumers will be able to interact directly with our newest, most sophisticated language models as a companion to Search” The business declared a “code red” earlier this year in response to the spectacular ascent of ChatGPT and even hauled co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin out of retirement to assist.
The majority of Google’s AI technology is not accessible to the general public. It features a language model for chatbots called “LaMDA” (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) and an artificial intelligence for picture production named “Imagen.” While OpenAI transforms comparable concepts into public products like DALL-E and ChatGPT that gain the firm a tonne of attention, Google keeps everything private and only discusses these initiatives in research papers and blog posts.
According to a CNBC story, one result of Google’s productization efforts is “Apprentice Bard,” a chatbot that employs LaMDA technology to enable users to “ask questions and receive thorough responses similar to ChatGPT.” The report outlined a large number of potential directions Google is experimenting with, such as “an alternative search page that could use a question-and-answer format,” “prompts for potential questions placed directly under the main search bar” on the Google homepage, and a results page that displays “a grey bubble directly under the search bar, offering more human-like responses than typical search results.”
It’s not even obvious that ChatGPT is a significant concern for Google. Google has a history of overreacting to other famous Internet phenomena, and the Google Graveyard is littered with “clone a competitor” ventures. At one point, Google viewed Facebook as an existential danger and developed Google+ in response. This experiment was subsequently terminated, and Google has no social presence now, although the company appears to be doing well. Prior to then, Amazon was “Google’s greatest search competitor.” Eventually, these concerns gave rise to the Amazon Prime clone Google Shopping Express. This endeavour also failed, as Amazon has yet to supplant Google search. ChatGPT is marketed as a search alternative since it provides direct responses to questions. While this is a component of Google Search’s business, Google already offers a direct answer interface: Google Assistant. Initially, Assistant was presented as a chatbot, similar to ChatGPT.
While the Assistant performs admirably for simple searches, Google has apparently been slashing resources from the division since it has been unable to monetise the function. It is unclear how a ChatGPT competitor will alter the fundamental issue of monetization beyond delaying the inevitable for a few years. When there is a list of 10 blue links to sort through, it is easier to monetize a website. However, it is more difficult to monetize a website that helps users discover an answer quickly. Google’s bottom line may be harmed if more users adopt this interface layout. Amazon, like Google, has been unable to come up with a solution for Alexa monetization.
Perhaps the only aspect of Google threatened by ChatGPT is its stock price. Google’s release appears unusually hurried, given
en the business holds other annual events, such as Google I/O, which is held in May, that this news could easily fit into. That is next quarter, though, and if Google is concerned about investor confidence, it would explain why it believes this event must occur this quarter rather than next. Wednesday is the day!