Google confirms preparation of GPT-like chatbot, alternative Google Search interface

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirms development of a version of Google Search capable of conversing with users using artificial intelligence (AI). The Bing Chat alternative, Google’s new chatbot will be able to respond to written or spoken questions in natural language, fundamentally changing the way we search for information on the internet.

Caught unprepared by rival Microsoft and the meteoric rise of generative AI technologies like GPR Chat, Google now finds itself in a race against time to save itself from irrelevance. It’s not hard to imagine how a more polished version of Bing Chat, capable of delivering coherent, well-reasoned answers to users, would make the classic Google Search experience, where you type in keywords and then sift through endless lists of results, unpalatable.

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Asked by journalists for The Wall Street Journal “Will people be able to ask Google questions and interact with LLM (large language models) in the context of search? Absolutely,” the Google chief said, formally confirming ambitions for integrating interactive AI with the Search experience.

While Microsoft has garnered the most public attention with the launch of Bing Chat, the truth is that Bing is only a minor player in the search services market. Even with GPT Chat, the window of opportunity for Microsoft is short-lived and Google, now at 93.4% market share, just needs to leverage its huge ecosystem of services to reach as many users as possible.

In the Google chief’s view, AI is an opportunity to expand the business, not a threat: “The opportunity space is bigger than before,” he told the WSJ. Coming as a tacit admission of the large gap with Microsoft, Pichai did not offer a precise timetable for the launch of the new chatbot and concrete details of how generative AI technologies will be integrated with the rest of Google’s ecosystem of services.

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Recently, Google launched its own conversational AI called Bard, but strictly as a chat service accessed from a standalone site, with no direct association with Google Search. Even so, the mediocre showmanship offered in an open-stage demonstration raised alarm bells for investors, temporarily crashing the shares of parent company Alphabet.

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