The Google empire strikes back against ChatGPT


OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot is so powerful that according to some observers, it could make Google’s search engine obsolete within a few years. However, Google is a company that has invested heavily in artificial intelligence. And currently, it is preparing a response to the arrival of ChatGPT. Rumor has it that as the chatbot started to get buzz, Google declared a “code red” internally and made development of its own chatbot a priority.

In a recent article, CNBC discusses the development of Google’s response to ChatGPT, as well as testing within the organization. It is within the cloud unit of Google that the development would be done. And the code name for the project would be “Atlas”. Among the products tested, there would be a chatbot similar to ChatGPT dubbed “Apprentice Bard”. As on ChatGPT, Google employees would be able to ask questions to this AI, and get answers. But that’s not all. Google would also test an overhaul of its search engine, on which a chatbot has been added to the interface.

Google prepares its counterattack

One of the advantages of Apprentice Bard, compared to ChatGPT, would be that it is able to take recent events into account. For example, when Google recently announced a workforce reduction, the firm asked its chatbot if there could still be a wave of layoffs. The AI’s response: “According to my access database, Google is unlikely to make another round of layoffs in 2023. Layoffs are usually done to cut costs and structure, but the company is doing well financially. In fact, Google’s revenue grew 34% in 2021, and the company’s share price is up 70% since January 2022.”

Regarding the search engine, Google would test a new interface that would allow the user to ask questions like on ChatGPT instead of entering keywords. When the user asks a question, a gray bubble would appear in the search bar. And this one would get real answers, instead of traditional search results. The search engine would also suggest other questions related to the one asked by the user. On the other hand, the traditional Google results do not disappear, since the lists of links continue to be displayed under this discussion interface.

Will Google Search make its revolution?

As usual, this information should be considered with caution, since it is not official. Google could nevertheless say more about its research during the Google I/O event in May. Quoted by CNBC, a representative for the firm said: “We believe that AI is a fundamental and transformative technology that is incredibly useful for individuals, businesses and communities, and as our AI Principles underline, we must consider the broader societal impacts that these innovations can to have. We continue to test our AI technology internally to make sure it is useful and safe, and we look forward to sharing more experiences with the outside soon.”

Unlike startups like OpenAI, which can deploy flawed products, Google needs to be more careful not to damage its reputation. He must also ensure that his new releases do not affect the group’s advertising revenue. Also, for the moment, we cannot be sure that this chatbot will actually be integrated into Google Search. But at the same time, does Google have a choice? Indeed, Microsoft and Bing are getting closer to OpenAI. And according to rumors, Microsoft is preparing to integrate ChatGPT with Bing (while AI is already offered via its cloud).

Google vs. ChatGPT

According to CNBC, Google employees also conducted numerous tests to compare the firm’s AI to ChatGPT. Indeed, ChatGPT would have passed the “L3” test that Google submits to its potential recruits. A test which, for a human, would earn more than 200,000 dollars a year, according to estimates by the Glassdoor site. ChatGPT would also have provided a better response than that of Google’s AI, when the two software were asked to write a movie scene. On the other hand, ChatGPT would not have answered a mathematical enigma to which Google’s AI nevertheless answered correctly.

The riddle was: “Three women are in a room. Two of them are mothers and have just given birth. Now the fathers of the children come in. What is the total number of people in the room?” The answer is 7, but ChatGPT would have answered 5, in Google’s tests. Otherwise, it should be noted that DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet (the parent company of Google), is working on another chatbot which could enter private beta this year.

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