Google is taking the next step in AI technology as it prepares to launch an “emergency” event on February 8. According to an invitation sent to The Verge, the event will focus on “reimagining how people search, explore and interact with information using the power of AI,” offering a more intuitive and natural way to find what you need. The 40-minute event will be live-streamed on YouTube.
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, hinted at the company’s plans during Alphabet’s earnings call, promising that soon, people will be able to interact directly with the company’s newest language models as a complement to search in experimental ways. Google has its own AI technologies, such as LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) and Imagen, but it has yet to release these to the public like OpenAI’s DALL-E and ChatGPT.
According to a CNBC report, Google is experimenting with “Apprentice Bard,” a chatbot that uses LaMDA technology and offers answers similar to ChatGPT. The report suggests that Google may be developing an alternate search page that uses a question-and-answer format, adding prompts for potential questions under the main search bar on the Google homepage, and presenting results with a gray bubble under the search bar that offers more human-like responses.
While ChatGPT has been hyped as a search competitor, Google already has Google Assistant, which serves as an interface for direct answers. The Assistant has been unable to monetize, and it’s unclear if a ChatGPT clone would change the monetization problem, as moving people toward this type of interface could potentially harm Google’s bottom line. Both Google and Amazon are still struggling to figure out how to monetize their voice assistants.
Google’s frantic announcement may be driven by concerns about investor confidence, as the company has several annual events at which it could have announced the new AI technology, such as Google I/O in May. However, by announcing the event this quarter instead of next, Google may be hoping to maintain investor confidence. Tune in on February 8 to see what Google has in store!