(CNN) Google is moving ahead with plans to bring AI chat features to its primary search engine as it works to catch up with a wave of new AI tools that could threaten the company’s Internet dominance for the first time in decades.
The company said Wednesday that it is introducing the next evolution of Google Search, which will use an AI-powered chatbot to answer questions “you never thought Search could answer” and to help Get the information your users want faster than ever.
With the update, the look and feel of Google search results It will be significantly different. When users type a query into the main search bar, they will see it automatically A popup with an AI-generated response in addition to the traditional results display.
Users can now sign up for a waitlist for the new Google search, which will launch for the first time in the US, via the Google app or Chrome desktop browser. A limited number of users will have access to it in the coming weeks, according to the company.
Updates were Unveiled at I/O, the company’s annual developer event, which focused on a combination of AI and hardware products. At the event, Google also announced PaLM 2, the latest AI language model to compete with ChatGPT OpenAI creator GPT-4. The move marks a huge step forward for the technology that powers the company’s AI products, and promises to be better at logic, logical reasoning and mathematics. It can also generate specialized code in different programming languages.
The moves come as Google’s competitors, including Microsoft, race to develop and deploy AI features in search engines and productivity tools in the wake of ChatGPT’s viral success. The high interest in ChatGPT is said to have prompted Google management to declare “code red” status for its search business.
In addition to changes to search, Google is expanding access to The current chatbot is coolwhich operate outside of the search engine and can help users Do the tasks Like outlining and writing essay drafts, planning a friend’s baby shower, and getting lunch ideas based on what’s in the fridge. The tool, which was previously only available to early adopters via a waitlist in the US, will soon be available to all users in 120 countries and 40 languages.
Google is also releasing extensions for Bard from its own services, such as Gmail, Sheets, and Docs, allowing users to ask questions and collaborate with a chatbot within the apps they use.
But integrating chatbots with AI carries some risks. These tools have raised concerns about tone and accuracy, the latter of particular importance to the online search engine that has long been a cornerstone of Google’s business.
Experiment with the new Google search
in the widget’s default CNN view Ahead of Wednesday’s announcement, the AI search tool answered questions about why bees are important to our ecosystem, whether the Sound Hotel in Portland, Oregon has Peloton bikes (there are) and what some local chess camps for kids are, in a matter of seconds.
The tool scans websites, extracting relevant information and neatly populating it at the top of the results page, highlighting the sources in a section tacked to the side.
But it isn’t perfect. In one search for “best pizza places in New York City,” the results were populated with restaurants from San Francisco.
Cathy Edwards, vice president of search at Google, told CNN It’s still “very early” and the company will continue to make changes in the coming weeks and months.
“We really want to learn and … get the kinks out,” Edwards said. “We don’t want to offer this experience to everyone until we are confident that we have succeeded.”
Unlike other chatbots, such as ChatGPT, My Snapchat AI tool And Bard, the Google search tool is intentionally devoid of “personality.”
“We made a deliberate decision to only reflect information on the web,” Edwards said. “He won’t respond with ‘I think’ or express his opinions about things. It’s not something like a lot of the other chatbots out there.”
But that choice can be a difficult experience, if you’ve spent months using other tools. When CNN asked the Google tool for suggestions on how to balance work and life with kids at home, it offered no words of empathy or connection with daily tasks, unlike other chatbots.
The new Google search also offers a Perspectives feature to show what other people are buying or thinking about, and factoring that into the results. Another tool, called About This Image, understands facts about the image, so users can ask questions about when Google first saw the image and whether it appears on other websites. Edwards said the feature is intended to provide “a level of understanding of the image rather than taking it at face value”.
“A 25-year quest”
These efforts highlight Google’s commitment to moving forward in the field of artificial intelligence even as the technology behind it has raised concerns.
In March Google He was called in after a demo of Bard’s gave an inaccurate answer to a question about the telescope. Shares of Alphabet, a subsidiary of Google decreased 7.7% On that day, erasing $100 billion of its market value.
It was Microsoft’s AI chatbot also called for errors made in the demo.
Like ChatGPT, the new Google Search and Bard are It is based on a large language model. They are trained on a large trove of online data in order to generate convincing responses to user prompts, but these tools have also been known to give false responses or “hallucinating” answers.
Formerly Google He told CNN that Bard will serve as a separate and complementary experiment to Google Search, and he plans to “thoughtfully” add large language models to search “in a deeper way” at a later date.
“We’ve spent 25 years on the research journey, and it’s still an unsolved problem,” Edwards said. “The next long arc that will be measured in decades is going to be like this, so we want to be bold but we want to be responsible and get it right.”
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