Alphabet is rushing to develop new artificial-intelligence (AI) features for Google—to avoid falling behind Bing and ChatGPT.
- The rapid adoption of Bing’s ChatGPT-enabled search engine has proven to be a serious through to Google’s bottom line, with major clients like Samsung threatening to swap search engines and cut off billions of dollars in revenue.
- Faced with a challenge that could upend Google as the world’s most popular search engine, Alphabet is preparing to integrate its own AI into its search engine, The New York Times reports.
- Alphabet’s project, nicknamed “Magi,” is still in early development but will involve more personalized features, predictive text features in search queries, image generation tools, and offer a more conversational interface and responses to user inquiries.
- Magi is currently being tested but could be released to the public in some form as early as May, selectively releasing to a small number of North America-based Google accounts.
Why It’s News
The AI arms race is in full swing. Microsoft successfully attained a first-mover advantage when it struck a deal with OpenAI to implement ChatGPT into Bing’s search engine and other customer-service features, although the early implementation has received negative feedback. Google remains in second place in the race, and stands to lose valuable clients, customers, and investor confidence if it does not develop something revolutionary.
While its search engine has faced continual growth and improvements, Google has yet to fully adopt AI as of yet. This is due to ongoing issues with its proprietary chatbot. ChatGPT and Bard AI both have difficulties accurately sourcing information and responding to questions. The company has already been mired in multiple public scandals regarding inherent bias and alleged fears that its LamBDA AI had attained sentience.
“Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new AI-powered features to search, and will share more details soon,” says Google spokesman Lara Levin in a statement to The New York Times.
“If we are the leading search engine and this is a new attribute, a new feature, a new characteristic of search engines, we want to make sure that we’re in this race as well,” says former Google VP Jim Lecinski.