Google will add AI features to search, but it will be at least a few weeks before a competitor to ChatGPT appears
As soon as it became known about the announcement of the new Bing search engine from Microsoft, which uses ChatGPT technology, Google has been quick to announce its own changes to Internet search. As previously reported, the success of ChatGPT caught the search giant off uard, and made it announce a “code red”, with CEO Sundar Pichai ordering teams to prepare new services based on AI.
And almost together with Microsoft, Google presented its achievements in the field of artificial intelligence at a special event in Paris. However, as The Verge writes, these features pale in comparison to Microsoft’s announcement of the “new Bing,” which the company has widely shown to the press and offered limited public access to.
In perhaps the most interesting demo, Google showed off how it will use generative AI in the future to summarize information from the web. In the demo, the company showed a search for the question “what are the best constellations to look for while stargazing?” with an AI-generated response highlighting a few key options and how to spot them.
“New generative AI features will help us organize complex information and multiple viewpoints right in search results,” said Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan. “With this you’ll be able to quickly understand the big picture and then go on to explore different angles.”
Raghavan referred to this sort of response as a “NORA” reply — standing for “no one right answer.” (A common criticism of AI-generated search responses is that they tend to pick a single answer as definitive.) He did not specify when this feature would be available.
The lack of information indicates Google’s current difficulties with implementing new AI features in search. While the company is a leader in AI and has been slowly weaving AI features into its search engine for years, it has yet to launch a direct competitor to ChatGPT’s conversational chatbot. On Monday, the company announced its competitive service Bard, but so far the system is only being tested in a closed beta version, and wider public access is promised somewhere “in the coming weeks”.
Google also gave a short demo of Bard at today’s event, asking the chatbot questions about the pros and cons of buying an electric car.
Meanwhile, Microsoft took advantage of Google’s caution. The company announced new artificial intelligence features for Bing and the Edge browser. Among them is a general-purpose chatbot similar to ChatGPT, as well as services for automatically creating annotations and writing text.