Google On Wednesday it unveiled plans to infuse its dominant search engine with more advanced artificial-intelligence technology, a drive to respond to one of the biggest threats to its long-established position as the main gateway to the internet.
The gradual change in how Google’s search engine works is underway three months after Microsoft’s Bing search engine started tapping technology similar to that powering the artificially intelligent chatbot ChatGPT, which created one of the biggest buzz in Silicon Valley ever Apple The first iPhone was released 16 years ago.
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., is already testing its own conversation chatbot called Bard. That product, powered by technology called generative AI that also powers ChatGPT, is only available to people accepted from a waitlist. But Google announced Wednesday that Bard will be available to all comers in more than 180 countries and more languages beyond English.
Bard’s multilingual expansion starts with Japanese and Korean before adding about 40 more languages.
Now Google is ready to test the AI waters with its search engine, which has been synonymous with finding things on the internet for the past 20 years and serves as a pillar of a digital advertising empire that has generated more than $220 billion which is last year’s income.
“We are at an exciting turning point,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told a packed conference of developers in a speech that included a series of AI references. “We reimagined all of our products, including search.”
More AI technology is coming to Google’s Gmail with a “Help Me Write” option that can generate long responses to emails in seconds, and a tool for photos called “Magic Editor” that automatically to doctor the photos.
The transition to AI will begin cautiously with the search engine that serves as Google’s crown jewel.
The deliberate approach reflects the balancing act that Google must negotiate as it tries to stay on the cutting edge while also preserving its reputation for delivering reliable search results — a mantle that could be tarnished by artificial intelligence’s tendency to make information seem authoritative.
The tendency to make deceptively convincing answers to questions – a phenomenon euphemistically described as “hallucinations” – has been cut off during Bard’s early trialswhich like ChatGPT, relies on continuously evolving generative AI technology.
Google will take the next steps in AI newly formed search lab where people in the US can join a waiting list to test how AI can be incorporated into search results. The tests also include more traditional links to external websites where users can read more information about the topics in question. It may take a few weeks before Google starts sending invitations to those accepted from the waitlist to test the AI-injected search engine.
AI results can clearly be tagged as an experimental form of technology and Google promises that AI-generated summaries will be more authentic than conversation – a distinct difference from Bard and ChatGPT, which programmed to express multiple human-like personas. Google has built guardrails that would prevent AI baked into the search engine from answering sensitive health questions — like, “Should I give Tylenol to a 3-year-old?” — and financial matters. In those instances, Google will continue to direct people to authoritative websites.
Google has not predicted how long it will take before its search engine will include generative AI results for all comers. The Mountain View, California, company is under increasing pressure to show how the search engine has maintained its leadership since Microsoft started loading AI into Bing, which remains a distant second to Google.
The potential threat caused the stock price of Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., to initially fall, though it recently bounced back to where it stood when Bing announced its AI plans more you are strong Recently, The New York Times reported Samsung is considering dropping Google as the default search engine on its widely used smartphones, raising the specter that Apple may adopt a similar tactic with the iPhone unless Google can demonstrate that its search engine can evolve with what appears to be a future AI-driven revolution.
As it begins to inject AI into its search engine, Google aims to make Bard smarter by connecting the next generation to a large data set known as a “big language model,” or LLM, who promoted it. Bard’s LLM is dubbed Pathways Language Model, or PaLM. Google’s search engine AI will take the next generation PaLM2 and another technology known as a Multitask Unified Model, or MOM.
Although people will have to wait to see how Google’s search engine will deploy generative AI to find answers, a new tool will be available soon. Google has added a new filter called “Perspectives” that will focus on what people are saying online about any topic entered into the search engine. The new feature will be placed alongside the existing search filters for news, images and videos.