Google to give its search engine an AI makeover by the end of the year

World’s biggest search engine threatened by competition from Microsoft's Bing.
Sejal Sharma
Google to revamp search engine.
Google to revamp search engine.

Future Publishing/Getty Images 

Google is synonymous with the internet. Millions throng to the search engine every day. From catching up on what’s happening in the world to discovering how to dye your cat green, Google has the answer to everything.

So, it was only a matter of time before the tech giant integrated its widely used search engine with artificial intelligence. This was inevitable, with almost all major tech companies dashing to cash in on the expanding AI space. It has already launched an AI-powered chatbot called Bard, similar to ChatGPT.

Not only is Google tweaking and testing new features on the existing search engine, but it is also developing a brand new AI-powered search engine under the project name ‘Magi’, as reported by The New York Times.

160 researchers, designers, and the executive task force is working on giving users a more personalized experience by anticipating their needs. According to The Times by anonymous Google employees, the company has been in panic mode since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November last year. In response, two weeks later, Google created a task force to start building AI products.

So what exactly is Project Magi?

Under Project ‘Magi’, what we’re looking at is an exodus from run-of-the-mill search engines. A suite of new AI features will include a more conversational and chatbot-like engagement in answering questions related to software coding and writing code, offering a list of options for objects to purchase, information for research, etc.

There are other new tools in development as well. GIFI - an AI tool to generate image results in Google Image and another tool called Tivoli Tutor, allowing users to engage with a chatbot to learn a new language. Searchalong is another product in the works, which lets users ask questions to a chatbot while simultaneously surfing the internet on Google Chrome.

The new search engine is still in the primitive stages of development, and there has been no confirmatory announcement of when it will be launched. However, The Times reports that Google will release the new features to a limited audience of one million users in the United States alone. It plans to increase this number to 30 million by 2023.

In a statement, Google spokeswoman Lara Levin said, "Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new A.I.-powered features to search and will share more details soon.”

A bid to stay relevant

The new developments are also in response to the recent speculative news of Samsung possibly replacing Google with Microsoft’s Bing as its key search engine. The new Bing, running on GPT-4, is an attractive option with AI-powered features. Remember that Microsoft is also working with OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT. 

Google is jittery as its agreement with Samsung is worth around $3 billion annually. Also, its deal with Apple, which stands at $20 billion, is up for renewal this year.

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