Google is planning to add a natural language AI chatbot to its search engine, according to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Pichai revealed that the tech giant is optimistic about its ability to keep up with rivals in the highly competitive AI field. However, he did not specify when the chatbot will be available to Google search users.
Pichai’s reference to a “moment in the industry” is likely alluding to Microsoft’s Bing announcement and growing interest in conversational AI among investors and the public. Microsoft recently announced that it will incorporate ChatGPT and GPT-4 into its Bing search and Edge browser, putting it ahead in the AI race.
This reportedly triggered a “code red” at Google, which has its own AI divisions and products but has not integrated those divisions’ findings into its household name search engine.
It is expected that Google’s upcoming search chatbot will launch with a waitlist, as is the case with many AI competitors. Pichai also stated that Google has several new search products in the pipeline, including a version that remembers search queries in the same session, allowing users to ask follow-up questions.
While the integration of natural language AI into the search engine could enhance user experience, it may have a negative impact on Google’s search ad revenue, which makes up $162 billion of its revenue.
Google already has its own in-house chatbot, Bard, and extensive experience in the field of large language models (LLMs). Bard is open to the public and can recognize and interpret language, code, or images to generate more content based on prompts. Google is expected to build on its experience with Bard to add natural language chat into its search engine.
The tech giant has also developed Pathways Language Model, a large-scale AI system that is available for developers on Google’s cloud computing service.
The sources for this piece include an article in TechRepublic.