ChatGPT competition sparks Google's upcoming AI upgrade

CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google is rolling out AI features “very soon.”

Pichai revealed to the investors that the company is working on a language model for dialogue applications (LaMDA), which will include a chatbot called “Apprentice Bard” and a new search desktop design that will allow for question-and-answer functionality.

“Very soon, people will be able to interact directly with our newest, most powerful language model as a companion to Search in experimental and innovative ways,” said Pichai.

The company is currently testing these features with employees as part of a “code red” plan to respond to the popularity of ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI partly backed by rival Microsoft. The new Google release is planned for the upcoming weeks and months.

Pichai announced that the company would also launch new tools and APIs to enable developers, creators, and partners to explore the potential of artificial intelligence. He highlighted the remarkable capabilities of these models in composing, constructing, and summarizing, but warned that the growth of large language models must be gradual as they are still in their early stages.

In addition to search engine improvements, Google will also be restructuring its AI subsidiary DeepMind. Google plans to take it out of the Other Bets segment and include it in the main company. The Other Bets segment mainly consists of long-term projects such as self-driving cars and venture capital investments. The move followed DeepMind's first-ever profit in 2021.

Pressure from ChatGPT

Google is under mounting pressure from ChatGPT. The launch of ChatGPT last year has raised concerns for Google, as the company's primary business model is based on web search. Generative AI products such as ChatGPT could disrupt the current model of internet search by offering advanced, creative answers to complex queries.

Adding to the pressure, reports suggest that Microsoft is considering integrating ChatGPT into its search engine, Bing.

Declining revenue

The discussion on AI took place as the company announced its fourth straight quarter of underperforming earnings and revenue compared to analysts' estimates.

The recent earnings report showed a decline, including a 8% drop in advertising revenue for YouTube and a 2% drop in Google's Search and Other revenue. Massive layoffs followed the falling revenues. In January, Google fired 12,000 of its employees.

Despite missing Wall Street's expectations, Pichai remained optimistic about the future of the company's advancements in artificial intelligence. Pichai stated, "AI is the most profound technology we are working on today."

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