Google parent Alphabet Inc said on Monday it would roll out a chatbot and more artificial intelligence for its search engine and developers, a response to Microsoft Corporation in its rivalry to lead a new wave of computing. Meanwhile, Microsoft said it plans to unveil its AI on Tuesday.
The news thread reflects how Silicon Valley expects a massive shift away from so-called generative AI, technology that can create prose or other content on demand and free up white-collar workers' time.
The rise of ChatGPT, the Microsoft-powered OpenAI chatbot that can alter the way consumers search for information, has been one of the biggest challenges facing Google in recent memory.
In a blog post, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said his company is opening up a conversational AI service called Bard to test user feedback, followed by a public rollout in the coming weeks.
He also said that Google plans to add artificial intelligence features to its search engine that add material for complex queries, such as whether learning the guitar or piano is easier. Google currently provides text found elsewhere on the web for questions where the answer is obvious.
Google's search update, the timing of which has not been disclosed, reflects how the company is strengthening its services while Microsoft is doing the same with Bing, with built-in OpenAI capabilities.
Microsoft said it plans to bring artificial intelligence to all of its products and on Tuesday plans to brief the media on unspecified developments, along with chief executive Satya Nadella, according to an invitation seen by Reuters. The event will also be attended by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, according to a tweet.
It was not clear how Google intended to differentiate Bard from OpenAI's ChatGPT. Pichai said that the new service is based on information from the Internet. Knowledge of ChatGPT updated to 2021.
“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world's knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity” of our artificial intelligence, Pichai said.
Behind the new chatbot is LaMDA, Google's artificial intelligence that generates text so skillfully that a company engineer last year described it as sentient, a claim the tech giant and scientists have widely denied.
In a demo of the service, Bard, like its rival chatbot, invites users to give it a heads-up, warning them that their response may be inappropriate or inaccurate. The demonstration then showed him drawing three responses to a query about the discoveries of a space telescope.
Pichai said Google is relying on a version of LaMDA that requires less computing power to serve more users and improve feedback.
ChatGPT sometimes alienated users due to explosive growth, with UBS analysts reporting that it had 57 million unique visitors in December, exceeding TikTok's potential adoption.
Pichai said Google also plans to bring technology tools, powered first by LaMDA and then by other artificial intelligence, to creators and businesses starting next month.
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