On Monday, Alphabet Inc., the company that owns Google, announced that it would introduce a chatbot service and additional artificial intelligence for its search engine as well as developers as a response to Microsoft Corp. Microsoft, meanwhile, announced that its own AI announcement would occur on Tuesday.
The torrent of news shows how Silicon Valley is preparing for a significant shift brought on by so-called generative AI, a tool that can generate text or other content at will and free up time for white-collar workers.
One of the biggest threats to Google in recent memory has been the rise of ChatGPT, a chatbot from Microsoft-backed OpenAI that may change how customers search for information.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post that his company is launching a conversational AI service called Bard to gather user feedback before going live to the general public.
He also mentioned Google’s plans to integrate AI elements into its search engine that will synthesize information for complicated inquiries like which instrument is easier to learn, the guitar or the piano. Currently, Google displays content from other websites on the Web in response to questions with obvious answers.
Google’s search update, the timing of which it did not reveal, demonstrates how the company is enhancing its service while Microsoft is doing the same for Bing by integrating OpenAI’s capabilities into it.
On November 17, 2021, the Google LLC logo can be visible in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Andrew Kelly/REUTERS/File Photo
Microsoft has stated that it intends to incorporate AI into all of its products, and, according to an invitation seen by Reuters, it plans to inform news organizations on developments with company CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday. The CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, tweeted that he will also be present.
It’s unclear how Google plans to set Bard apart from OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Pichai said the new service uses data from the internet and that ChatGPT’s knowledge is current as of 2021.
According to Pichai, “Bard wants to blend the depth of human knowledge with the strength, wit, and inventiveness of our” AI.
LaMDA, a piece of artificial intelligence developed by Google, is what powers the new chatbot. LaMDA produced language with such brilliance last year that a company engineer dubbed it sentient, a claim that was hotly disputed by the tech giant and scientists.
In a demonstration of the service, Bard allows users to give it a prompt but warns that its response may be improper or wrong, just like its rival chatbot. The demonstration next provided three responses to a question regarding the findings of a space telescope.
To serve more customers and improve based on their comments, Pichai said Google is using a version of LaMDA that uses fewer processing resources.
With UBS analysts predicting that ChatGPT had 57 million unique visitors in December, perhaps overtaking TikTok in adoption, the app has at times had to turn away users due to its rapid development.
According to Pichai, Google also intends to begin providing creators and businesses with technology tools, initially powered by LaMDA and then by other AI.