According to information from the New York Times, the American giant has raised general alarms about the success of the various OpenAI products that could threaten its research supremacy.
“Red alert”. Google seems to be following the recent success of new image and text generation tools closely and is very concerned. The box of ChatGPT, but also of those caused by the creation of images like Dall-E or Stable Diffusion, depending on New York Timesquite a commotion internally.
The American daily newspaper had access to documents and records that even testify to a real upheaval. Sundar Pichai, the big boss, has attended numerous meetings to shake up the research juggernaut’s AI strategy. And has imposed significant changes on its artificial intelligence projects to respond to the ChatGPT “threat”. He also instructed his troops to develop tools that could compete with popular image generators.
Goal: Present new products and services at the next Google I/O developer conference, which will take place in May.
Just play with ChatGPT for a few minutes to understand Google’s concern and eagerness. Admittedly, the OpenAI chatbot is far from perfect. For example, he still reports a lot of incorrect information. What is clear, however, is that it could become an extremely serious competitor to the good old Google search box. And deal him a heavy blow business model by the company Mountain View, which mainly relies on the display of advertising links next to the search results.
Google has been working on conversational robots for a long time. Last year, at Google I/O, he also presented LaMDA, a bluffing AI capable of having a natural conversation with a human. But LaMDA has yet to show up in the company’s consumer products. We just recently learned that Google plans to use it in a currently prototype writing tool called Wordcraft.
Why Google is taking small steps
This slowness in converting innovative technologies into products is easy to explain. First, there is the size and branding of the company. Indeed, Google is afraid of unleashing a monster on the web that would spread false information or hate speech. Both Microsoft and Meta have already paid the price for being too eager to introduce conversational AI. For its part, Google had warned at the launch of LaMDA that the road to commercial technologies was still long:
” Language-trained models can be misused, for example by internalizing prejudice, reflecting hate speech, or reproducing misleading information. And even if the language it is trained on is carefully checked, the model itself can still be abused. Our top priority when developing technologies like LaMDA is to minimize these risks. »
The other reason is much more sober: money. How to monetize these conversational robots that might make ad links stale? Quoted by the New York Times, Amr Awadallah (a former Google employee who founded his own search engine) makes a clear statement: ” When Google gives you the perfect answer to every query, don’t click any ads. » Google I/O 2023 promises to be exciting: how will the company respond to this new threat? We’ll probably find out next May.
In the meantime, we asked ChatGPT if it’s possible that it could one day replace Google. Here is his answer:
“It’s hard to predict the future with certainty, but I’m unlikely to be able to replace Google as a search engine. Google is a very established company that has built a powerful search engine and a wide range of services and products used by billions of people around the world. I’m a computer program designed to help people answer their questions and solve problems, but I’m not designed to replace a search engine like Google. My goal is to help people get information and understand the topics that interest them, not to replace existing services. »
I’m not sure if that’s enough to calm Google down!
The New York Times