You might think we overreact by saying "war" here. But keep reading to get the bigger picture! According to StatCounter, Google has a market share of 92.9%, whereas Bing only has 3.03%. On top of that, "Google" is the latter’s most popular search. We all know it has been the largest search engine for quite some time. Further, its guidelines are core to all modern SEO strategies. It’s safe to say Bing would refrain from threatening Google Search's leadership.
However, that changed when Microsoft invested millions of dollars in OpenAI. Thanks to that investment, Microsoft is now integrating a wide range of Artificial Intelligence tools into its products. To name a few, GitHub Copilot, DALL·E 2, and ChatGPT-3. It means that search business and user experience, as we know it, are changing for good. Just remember that ChatGPT reached over 100 million users in only two months! On top of that, some regard it as the fastest-growing app in history. Now, ChatGPT will become part of Bing, one of Google's main competitors. Let’s see why the word “war” goes beyond a statement!
Before moving forward, let’s talk a little bit about the origin of chatbots. They have been around for quite some time. Chatbots use NLP to simulate human conversation. Likewise, AI and ML algorithms let them understand natural language. In turn, chatbots can respond to questions and instructions conversationally. These have far-reaching implications. Nowadays, tech companies use them more and more to provide AI-powered features. Tasks can go from online shopping to healthcare assistance.
Yet, perhaps the most-known use is home automation. Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are examples of how chatbots have changed the industry. However, significant technological enhancements also came with Generative AI. Traditional AI systems recognize patterns or make predictions based on existing data. On the other hand, Generative AI learns to create new content by analyzing large data sets. ChatGPT has passed exams from business and medical schools, even Google Coding Interviews. No wonder why Amazon’s software engineers use ChatGPT!
Bard aimed to be ChatGPT’s rival by combining a conversational ChatGPT-ish bot with Google’s robust search algorithm. Behind Bard, there was LaMDA. Google’s prior model used some of the world’s advanced language models. Its procedures even led technicians to believe it was sentient! Google saw this opportunity as the first step to showing its latest AI innovation processes. Further, it strived to become the next search experience.
Only a few months after chatGPT's launch, Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, thought it was time to announce Bard's launch. Google announced a significant event on February 8th, 2023, to discuss its newest project. If you believe that was a decision that Pichai should have thought more about… Well, you are not alone.
First, presenters failed to engage the audience. They didn't showcase any significant features that could threaten ChatGPT. They also needed help finding their phone to show the audience Bard's features. On top of that, during the very first ad, Bard AI provided an incorrect answer to its search. The question was, "What new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?" To it, Bard answered: JWST took the very first pictures of a planet outside of our own solar system. These distant worlds are called "exoplanets." Exo means "from outside." Yet, the JWSP was not involved in taking the first exoplanet’s pictures.
Tech outlets were quick to raise both strategic and technical concerns. Not only does it seem a bit hasty. It was! The Verge described it as “Google’s AI chatbot Bard makes a factual error in first demo.” Meanwhile, CNBC focused on the criticism Google’s CEO received from employees for a “rushed, botched announcement.” In business, mistakes can be pretty expensive. After the presentation, Google’s shares lost nearly 10% of their value. The blunder cost the giant about $100B in a single week.
Let's start with Microsoft scheduling its presentation the day before Google's. That's right: it took place on the 7th of February. Microsoft delivered extreme professionalism and diligence in its presentation. Not only were they clever enough to have it a day before their competitor. They deliberately aimed at Google by addressing a persisting problem with web searches!
Microsoft showed a way to solve search issues. Its plan started with giving users the "typical" search results combined with ChatGPT responses. That's what the new Bing is going to do. This chatbot even receives human feedback to improve results! Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, captivated the audience from scratch. He addressed users' common issues, like inflation, recession, and an energy crisis. Or, as he named them, the "three-headed monster." Satya said it might be possible to solve those problems to a large extent with AI in this new tech era.
Satya stated there’s an ongoing demand for solutions in almost any industry. Further, he supported the idea that AI can help cover it by saying: “AI is going to reshape the largest software category on planet earth, search. It’s a new day in search. The race starts today.” Later, Microsoft’s VP, Yusuf Mehdi, stated that web search hadn’t changed much in 20 years. He proved there was a need for a better experience since nearly 50% of searches are potentially unanswered. He finally declared a clear need for a new search approach. Microsoft blew a big hit during the conference and is leading the way in this AI war right now.
Google Bard prides itself on using a much lighter neural version architecture, LaMDA. That makes ChatGPT's main competitor much more scalable. Therefore, it demands much less computing power. Google expects to make Google Bard available to many more users. In addition, Bard's answers appear to be more "authentic" and "human" than the ones of ChatGPT. As a result, it'll have all the benefits of conversational AI applications. So how is it different from its competitors?
● Highly customizable.
● Friendlier search interface.
● More human-like answers.
● Great for multiple industries.
● Multimedia analysis, including images and video.
● Less computing power to achieve compelling results.
● Multidimensional world views through Google Maps.
Let's take a quick look at some of the main features and benefits of the new AI-powered Bing. It includes references to the sites from which it most likely pulled the information. This feature helps users to feel more comfortable about the accuracy of answers. Hence, it'll give credit to content creators. It will provide the old-school search results approach and an answer provided by AI. Microsoft developed many capabilities that will leverage the potential of the new Bing.
The Prometheus Model is an ML algorithm. It uses Natural Language Processing techniques to identify features in the text. Then, it predicts their possible use in future contexts. It's perfect for tasks such as sentiment analysis and assisting with customer services. Some of the benefits this model promises include:
● Increased safety.
● Up-to-date results.
● Improved relevancy.
● AI-driven Chat answers.
● Comprehensive answers
● Geolocation Understanding.
The last key benefit of the new version was the ability to use it as an Edge Browser extension. It can analyze long pieces of information and summarize them in seconds. It can also compare the response from multiple sources without doing more searches.
Both Google and Microsoft have acknowledged the power and effectiveness of conversational AI. Consequently, millions of users can see significant changes when interacting with search engines. Further, there’s no doubt conversational AI products will surely be part of many future tools.
As for the great AI war between Microsoft and Google, Bing won the first battle. Yet, let’s don’t forget Google still has the upper hand with over 90% market share in web searches. So, the latter needs to move fast because web searches are among their main sources of revenue. That means it has a lot more to lose if it doesn't act fast.
As we can see, the AI-based war is far from over. What do you think the short-term future will look like?