What you need to know
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai says the company will eventually add AI chatbots to its search engine.
- A Google search-based chatbot could work similarly to Microsoft’s Bing Chat, but it’s unclear if it will be Bard-based.
- With the rapid rise of ChatGPT, Google is rushing to build generative AI into services like the Workspaces app.
As the AI arms race continues to gain momentum, it’s no surprise that tech giants like Google are rushing to shift resources to AI-powered search capabilities. After announcing new generative AI features for ChatGPT rival Bard and the Workspaces app, Google is looking to power its search engine with his AI chatbot.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab)CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that AI chat for Google Search is in the works, but did not specify when it would go live.
The move follows Microsoft’s February announcement of its new ChatGPT-powered Bing AI, which powers its long-criticized search engine by going all-in on AI-driven search. A month later, his daily active users on Bing skyrocketed to his 100 million. But Microsoft isn’t done yet. The SwiftKey beta for Android recently received the same AI treatment, allowing users to chat directly with Bing AI and rephrase sentences with Tone Assist from one of the best keyboard apps.
Meanwhile, Bard, Google’s response to rival AI Broadside, initially faced criticism after a former Google AI engineer claimed it was trained using ChatGPT data. Mountain View was quick to refute this claim, and Bard builds on his LaMDA language model, which has been at the heart of conversational AI efforts for quite some time.
However, there is no indication that Bard will be an integral part of Search’s upcoming AI chatbots. For now, it’s separated from the search engine and you can join the waiting list to access it when it goes live.
Referring to the language models that power AI chatbots, Pichai told the WSJ: “Will people be able to ask Google questions or engage LLMs (Large Language Models) in the context of search? ?Of course,” he said.
Pichai also told the WSJ that other AI-based search features are in the pipeline, such as the ability to ask follow-up questions after entering a query. The traditional design of search returns links when users enter a question. Incoming AI chatbots seem to steer away from link-based search results.
Only time will tell if Google’s AI readiness is sufficient to address threats to the search business from all sides.