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Bard, Bing and Baidu: How Big Tech’s AI Race Will Transform Search – and All of Computing

These days, if you want to find a good shipping company, you can ask your favorite search engine — perhaps Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo — for advice.

After flipping through half a page of ads, you’ll get loads of links to articles about moving companies. You click on one of the links and end up reading about how to choose a good ‘un’. But it won’t be long.

In a major reveal this week, Google announced plans to add its newest AI chatbot, LaMDA, to the Google search engine. Chatbot has been called “Bard”.

  • Google’s Bard Chatbot makes a mistake in AI advertising advertising capabilities

I hope the descendants of William Shakespeare sue. Answering trivial questions about how to find a good moving company is not the job of the greatest English writer. But he will.

Ask Bard how it’s done and he’ll respond almost immediately with a logical eight-step plan: start with reading reviews and get quotes, and end with collecting. Collect references.

No more flipping through linked pages; The answer is immediate. To add Shakespearean insult to the injury, you can even ask Bard to respond as a sonnet.

  • Google AI Chatbot Bard was found to provide incorrect information in company ads

Welcome to the AI ​​race! Microsoft responded quickly to Google, saying it would incorporate the ChatGPT chatbot into its search engine, Bing.

Only recently did Microsoft announce it would invest $10 billion (approximately Rs 82,550) in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, in addition to a previous investment of a billion or more in 2022.

ChatGPT has been added to Microsoft’s Teams software. You can expect it to appear in Word soon, where it will write paragraphs for you. In Outlook, it will compose the entire email, and in PowerPoint, it will help you prepare the slides for your next talk.

Not to be outdone, China’s web giant Baidu has also gotten into action. It recently announced its newest chatbot will be released in March. Baidu Chatbot will be trained on 50% more parameters than ChatGPT and will be bilingual. In response, the company’s stock price jumped 15%.

AI-powered search Google, along with other tech giants, has been using AI in search for years. For example, AI algorithms sort the order of search results returned by Google.

The difference now is that instead of searching based on the words you type, these new search engines will try to “understand” your question. And instead of sending you links, they will also try to answer questions.

But the new chatbot technology is far from perfect. ChatGPT is sometimes just fabricated. Chatbots can also be tricked into saying inappropriate, offensive or illegal things – although researchers are working to mitigate this.

Risks exist for Google, which has been described by the New York Times as not just an AI race, but a race to survive.

When ChatGPT first launched late last year, alarm bells rang for the search giant. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin returned from their outside operations to oversee the response.

Advertising revenue from Google Search results contributes about three-quarters of the total US$283 billion (approximately Rs 23.36,000 crore) to the annual revenue of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. If people started using AI chatbots to answer their questions instead of Google Search, what would happen to that income? Even if Google users stick with Google, but get answers directly from Bard, how will Google make money when no more links are clicked? Microsoft may see this as an opportunity for their Bing search engine to overtake Google. It’s not out of the question that it will. In the 1990s, before Google launched, I was very satisfied with AltaVista – the best search engine of its time. But I quickly jumped jobs as soon as I had a better search experience.

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Will the AI ​​race lead to corner cutting? Google previously did not make its LaMDA chatbot available to the public due to concerns about it being misused or misunderstood. Indeed, it famously fired one of its engineers, Blake Lemoine, after he claimed LaMDA was sentient.

There are many risks involved in the tech giants’ rush to bolster the future of AI search.

First, if tech companies don’t make a lot of money from affiliate sales, what new source of income will they generate? Are they trying to sell information gathered from our interactions with search chatbots? What about the people who will use these chatbots for basic purposes? They can be the perfect choice for writing personalized and persuasive messages aimed at defrauding gullible users – or flooding social media with conspiracy theories.

Not to mention we’ve seen ChatGPT do a great job of answering most homework questions. Currently, public schools in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania have banned its use to prevent fraud – but it seems they can’t (or should) ban access to Google or Bing.

A new look When Microsoft launched Windows, it was the beginning of a revolution. Instead of typing confusing instructions, we simply point and click on the screen. That revolution continued with the launch of Apple’s iPhone – an interface that shrinks computers and websites into the palm of our hand.

Perhaps the biggest impact from AI-based search engines will be the way we interact with the multitude of increasingly smarter devices in our lives. We’ll stop pointing, clicking, and tapping, and will start having whole conversations with our devices instead.

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We can only speculate on what this means in the long term. However, for better or worse, the way we interact with computers is about to change.


5G is here. Should you buy a 4G phone? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and wherever you download your podcasts.
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