Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, announced Thursday that the search engine would soon include advanced AI functions. As part of a “code red” strategy to counter the well-known chatbot ChatGPT, supported partly by Microsoft, it was reported on Tuesday that Google is testing some of these features with staff members. They consist of the “Apprentice Bard” chatbot and brand-new search desktop layouts that support question-and-answer formats.
He referred to Google’s dialogue technology LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications, saying that very soon, users would be able to directly interact with it as a companion to Search in unique and experimental ways.
To get further feedback, Pichai stated that the large language model would be released “in the coming weeks and months.”
On the company’s fourth-quarter results call, executives brought up artificial intelligence often. According to Pichai, artificial intelligence is the most advanced technology we are developing now. The company’s efforts to draw attention to AI come as its primary advertising business is under duress and facing competition from one of its long-time rivals.
According to expectation estimates offered by Refinitiv, Thursday’s earnings report represented the company’s fourth straight quarter in which earnings and revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The advertising industry was weak, as seen by the 8% loss in YouTube’s advertising revenue and the 2% decline in Google’s Search and Other revenue.
ChatGPT, a Microsoft-backed OpenAI product released late last year, is also putting pressure on Google. Web search is Google’s primary industry, and the corporation has long hailed itself as an AI pioneer. However, since they may offer original solutions to trickier questions, generative AI technologies like ChatGPT could endanger the entire model of internet search. According to reports, Bing, the company’s search engine, may get ChatGPT capability from Microsoft. Even the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who retired from day-to-day duties at the firm in 2019, are said to be motivated by the fear of falling behind in AI.
The company announced upcoming improvements to search while also announcing a change in the financial reporting structure for its DeepMind artificial intelligence segment, which will now roll up to Google rather than the Other Bets segment, which includes long-term projects like self-driving cars and venture capital investments. This change will take effect in the first quarter.
2021 marked DeepMind’s first year of profitability. For more than $500 million, Google paid for the London-based business in 2014, and when the business was reconstituted as Alphabet in 2015, it added it to the Other Bets division. According to Alphabet’s finance head Ruth Porat, this reporting move “reflects the strategic focus in DeepMind to serve each of our sectors.”
Porat clarified, saying, “To be very clear, we combine Other Bets into Google only when that bet supports goods and services within Google or Alphabet generally.” He used the cybersecurity firm Chronicle, which was integrated into Google’s cloud division in 2019. “That worked very well.”
Pichai added that to “empower them to uncover new possibilities with AI,” the business will also offer “new tools” and APIs to partners, creators, and developers. He continued that these models are excellent for writing, building, and summarising. Pichai noted that massive language usage is still in its “early days,” therefore he cautioned that it would need to scale gently.