Rumor: OpenAI could announce Google Search alternative in May

According to a well-informed OpenAI insider, the company behind the viral ChatGPT bot is likely to soon announce a new search engine that will rival Google.

Jimmy Apples – at least that’s the name of the X account thought to be a credible insider of all things OpenAI – has said that the AI startup is looking to host a big event next week, probably on May 9th.

According to the insider, OpenAI has been hiring for an events team since early January, clearly preparing for a loud announcement. Apples has supposedly been receiving messages from inside OpenAI.

“10am, 9th of May for an OpenAI event apparently, might not be a model release but a search engine announcement. Guess they can’t help themselves to upstage Google I/O,” said Apples.

Obviously, this is just a rumor, and nothing’s official yet. However, Apples is thought to be a credible source – for instance, he accurately predicted the exact date of the GPT-4 announcement.

Besides, The Information already reported in February that OpenAI was developing a web search product to challenge Google. The search service would be partly powered by Bing, the outlet’s source said.

OpenAI, just like Apples says, is probably aiming to upstage Google I/O, a developer conference, held by the tech giant annually in Mountain View, California. This year, the date is May 14th.

Incidentally, Google has just lost search market share for the first time in many years. The company hit a low 86% after staying at around 91% for years. Meanwhile, Bing is becoming more popular.

OpenAI’s move might also make Perplexity AI, a chatbot-powered search engine, redundant. Microsoft recently banned its employees from using Perplexity AI, citing security concerns.

In a recent podcast with Lex Fridman, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said: “The intersection of LLMs (large language models) plus search, I don’t think anyone has cracked the code on yet. I would love to go do that. I think that would be cool.”

Altman said that OpenAI doesn’t want to build another Google Search – he wants OpenAI’s product to be better.

“I find Google Search boring. I mean, if the question is if we can build a better search engine than Google or whatever, then sure, we should,” said Altman.

“Google shows you like 10 blue links, like 13 ads, and then 10 blue links, and that’s like one way to find information. Maybe there’s just a much better way to help people find, act on, and synthesize information.”

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