Google seems ready to introduce its rival ChatGPT

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps (Manu Fernandez / AP)

Google may soon let the public play around with its response to ChatGPT, the viral chatbot that uses AI to answer questions and complete tasks.

The tech giant is under pressure to find a response to the tool, which threatens to overshadow its dominant services, including Google Search.

ChatGPT users have asked the free bot for help with a variety of queries, from writing emails to helping them with their homework, much to the chagrin of teachers. He has even passed exams at law and business universities in the United States.

With interest in the tool refusing to die down, Google plans to let people “interact directly” with its “most powerful” AI language models as a plug-in to Search, according to CEO Sundar Pichai.

It’s unclear how the tool will work and how users will be able to interact with it in Search. The most immediate difference between ChatGPT and Google Search is that the former directly answers your question, while the latter provides search results for you to peruse. Google’s latest model of artificial intelligence could even appear at an event the company is holding on February 8, according to The Verge.

“Join us to learn how we are opening greater access to information for people everywhere, through Search, Maps and more,” the company says.

Speaking during Google’s latest earnings call, Pichai said the first model people will be able to use will be LaMDA, the company’s conversational artificial intelligence model. The company previously tested LaMDA as part of a writing tool that could generate prose, and through an app that allow a limited number of users to chat with the chatbot.

Although Google has added new AI models to its search engine in the past, these tend to work behind the scenes, generating little fanfare for its long-running utility service. For example, the Enterprise Multitasking Unified Model, or MUM, is designed to reduce the number of searches required to answer your question. It can also recognize text and images, and up to 75 different languages, to deliver refined results, according to Google.

By comparison, artificial intelligence firm OpenAI made an immediate impact by allowing anyone to sign up to use its free ChatGPT service when it launched late last year. Users quickly began sharing their impressive responses on social media, causing a snowball effect. The bot rushed a million users in its first five days, according to founder Sam Altman. A recent analysis suggests that the number may have since skyrocketed to 100 million users.

Seizing the opportunity to compete with Google, OpenAI investor Microsoft recently began adding ChatGPT capabilities to its enterprise tools, including its Azure cloud service and a premium version of your equipment workplace chat software

Still, it’s too soon to rule Google out of the chatbot race. As Pichai noted, its AI models will provide “more up-to-date objective information,” something ChatGPT cannot currently do, as it has limited knowledge of world events after 2021.

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