ChatGPT, the top tier AI chatbot of OpenAI, is such a serious threat to Google’s core business that the company’s co-founders are once again collaborating with the search giant, The New York Times reported Friday.
Startup OpenAI debuted ChatGPT in November, and within days, more than a million people had started supporting it with an enormous range of questions and requests. Trained on massive amounts of text on the Internet, the artificial intelligence system can answer questions, write essays, write computer programs, and generate all kinds of information.
ChatGPT can sound authoritarian, but it’s not always accurate, and you can’t tell where it gets its answers from. However, it’s impressive enough to be a viral hit across the internet, and useful enough for that Google has reportedly declared a “Code Red”. Reply to ChatGPT.
Now Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are investigating the problem at the behest of Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, the Times reported. They had largely left day-to-day business in 2019.
Google has one competing AI technology called PaLM, but it did not make this AI system available for public use. And it’s an AI pioneer who invents the “Transformer” technology that lies at the heart of large language models like PaLM and OpenAI’s ChatGPT foundation, GPT-3. In a blog post this week, the company summarized several Areas where Google uses AIfor everything from suggesting email replies to placing ads.
Google has not commented on the co-founders’ moves or their stance on ChatGPT. However, spokeswoman Lily Lin said it is important for the company to ensure AI is used safely.
“We believe AI is a fundamental and transformative technology that is incredibly useful to individuals, businesses and communities, and as ours AI principles outline, we must take that into account broader societal impact can have these innovations,” Lin said. “We continue to test our AI technology internally to ensure it’s useful and safe, and we look forward to sharing more experiences externally soon.”
Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster sees ChatGPT, GPT-3 and large language models as a competitive threat to Google.
“One possible future is that these LLMs could be built into the backend of many of the technical services we use,” Munster said in a Friday report. “This is the result that could harm Google in the long term.”
Ultimately, however, Google should be able to withstand the threat, he predicted. With four services, each with more than a billion users, and $60 billion in annual operating revenue from search, Google has “more than enough money to fund investments that are creating a competitor to ChatGPT.”
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