Google's ChatGPT rival to be released in coming 'weeks and months'

“We are just at the beginning of our AI journey, and the best is yet to come,” said Google CEO.
Ameya Paleja
Google A.I. illustration.
Google A.I. illustration.

Getty Images 

Search engine giant Google is looking to deploy its artificial intelligence (A.I.)-based large language models available as a "companion to search," CEO Sundar Pichai said during an earnings report on Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

A large language model (LLM) is a deep learning algorithm that can recognize and summarize content from massive datasets and use it to predict or generate text. OpenAI's GPT-3 is one such LLM that powers the hugely popular chatbot, ChatGPT.

Launched in November as a research preview, the chatbot has become hugely popular among users as it responds to questions in a conversational tone. With the ability to respond to and answer user queries directly, instead of sending them a bunch of websites to seek answers from, many have wondered if the chatbot could bring an end to Google's business.

A.I.: Google's competition or a companion?

Interesting Engineering previously reported that the success of ChatGPT sent Google's top brass into a red alert. CEO of the parent company Alphabet Inc., Sundar Pichai, reportedly asked multiple groups at Google to focus their attention on rolling out A.I.-based products.

We have already seen Google launch MusicLM, a tool that uses a text description to generate music in any genre, and it is likely that Google has a long list of launches in the pipeline.

However, the main question is how Google plans to use A.I. in its most popular product, the search engine. Google uses search queries to display relevant ads to users, bringing in billions in revenue for the company.

An A.I.-chatbot-like search engine could provide users with direct answers, something that Microsoft plans to do with its Bing search engine with hopes of making Google's search methods obsolete.

How will Google use A.I.?

As Gmail creator Paul Buchheit pointed out that A.I. has the potential to disrupt Google in the coming two years. With Microsoft strengthening its tie-up with OpenAI with another round of investment, it looks certain that the company's other products will also see more GPT-powered features embedded in the near future.

While this presents a major risk to Google, it is also possible that the disruption could come from Google's own offerings, as it looks to launch as many as 20 A.I.-based products over the course of this year.

This would require Google to change perhaps how it makes its money, but perhaps, as Pichai noted during the earnings call, Google does not intend to rapidly change its trajectory anytime soon, as the LLM would be rolled out in the "coming weeks and months."Google plans to use its LLM as a companion to the search, and Pichai believes that this is the "beginning of the A.I. journey, with the best yet to come."

With ChatGPT having vowed users across the globe, Google would have to come up with something even extraordinary to divert users' attention from the chatbot. Its LLM, called Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), was already in the news last year after engineer Blake Lemoine, who was working on the project, said that the A.I. had become sentient. Google sent the engineer on paid leave.

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