Google is ready to take on ChatGPT – and any day now we’ll see its master plan for AI
Update: 06/23/2020: Google just announced Bard of Google as a response to ChatGPT, and the chatbot will likely be more fully featured in the “Live in Paris” event below.
Google has come under increasing pressure from ChatGPT and Microsoft over the past few months, and it seems to have finally succeeded – the search giant has announced an AI event for Feb. 8 and said its chatbot rival will be launching soon.
The “Google Presents: Live from Paris” (opens in a new tab) the event will be streamed live at 8:30am ET / 1:30pm GMT (which means 12:30pm AEST for Australian residents). And Google says the theme will be “reimagining how people search, explore and interact with information” through “Search, Maps and more.”
While this description doesn’t specifically address the type of AI chatbot technology we saw in ChatGPT, the event lines up with some bold statements made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the company’s recent conference call for earnings (opens in a new tab).
During the call, Pichai said that “artificial intelligence is the deepest technology we are currently working on” and that artificial intelligence is reaching a “turning point”. This means that Google is preparing to publicly join the fight by opening up LaMDA and PaLM – which are, like ChatGPT, large language model (or LLM) algorithms that are trained on huge datasets.
While Google has demonstrated the technology before, with Deepmind’s Sparrow (as seen in the screenshot above), Pichai said that “in the coming weeks and months, we’ll be rolling out these language models, starting with LaMDA, for people to interact with them directly.”
Given that Google is the driving force behind the development of artificial intelligence, including the technology behind ChatGPT, this could potentially be a big moment.
It is not yet clear how Google will make LaMDA publicly available. We also don’t know for sure if he’ll be demonstrating his AI master plan at next week’s Live from Paris event or just announcing incremental improvements like Maps, Search, and Google Lens.
Either way, the event promises to be a must-see for tech fans who want to see how AI will transform the tools most of us use every day.
Analysis: The battle for AI supremacy heats up
Google’s response to ChatGPT and Microsoft’s rapid integration of the technology into apps like Teams Premium is certainly not knee-jerk – the search giant dubbed itself an “AI betting company” back in 2017 and has published groundbreaking research in the field since then.
But the viral success of ChatGPT that has recently become the fastest growing app of all time (opens in a new tab), has undoubtedly put pressure on Google to accelerate the introduction of some artificial intelligence technologies into the public sphere. It will be fascinating to see what exactly he will announce in the “coming few months”, as promised by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Microsoft made another multi-billion dollar investment in ChatGPT earlier this month and is already combining its talents, including advanced text generation, with its own AI-powered Turing project (opens in a new tab) tools. The results can change the way we use applications such as Microsoft Office.
Google is likely to use this technology in a similar way, carefully embedding it in apps like Google Maps, Google Lens, Gmail, Search, and more. The reason Google seems to be slower to release its AI tools is that it has more to lose due to significant flaws in the nascent technology, such as inaccuracy and even the potential to fuel cyberattacks.
But LaMDA is theoretically a more polished technology than ChatGPT, having been fine-tuned by AI trainers before release – and Google seems to believe it’s now secure enough for us to interact with. Exactly what form this interaction will take, we’ll likely hear more at an event next week and at Google I/O 2023 in May.