Google Is Losing Control: ChatGPT & Microsoft’s Partnership Threatening
Google has been enjoying an uncontested monopoly over the search engine market for years now. With a massive market share of 92% of the searches, there was never really any real competition from any other search engine, be it Bing or Edge.
But all that changed all at once when OpenAI introduced ChatGPT and joined hands with Microsoft — Google’s number one rival — to create the world’s first truly conversational search engine.
It’s the first time in years that Google is facing such a massive threat to its market share, but the irony is it was Google itself that laid the groundwork for its competitors.
Let’s back up a little here. It was Google that first introduced the concept of transformer that made a huge improvement to the capabilities of machine learning models back in 2017. This one technology alone has made a huge contribution to the creation of GPT.
Google dedicated the following years to improving its existing Voice Assistance technology. For instance, it added AI assistance in Google News, Google Maps, and a visual-first version of Google Assistant. That’s where the problem began.
Google’s biggest fault is that the only way to get your hands on funding and staff at Google as an employee is to get your project under an existing major product.
OpenAI built a text generator so good it’s considered too dangerous to release. And that was just version 2.
Meanwhile, OpenAI was making the best of the new machine learning technology to create GPT. By 2020, it had already managed to hit the headlines.
With Google’s attention transfixed to Google Assistant, OpenAI slowly grew its market, and it was not until 2022 and the formal launch of ChatGPT that Google realized that this new acquisition-immune startup was dangerously close to taking over Google’s monopoly.
It’s clear to everyone involved that the futuristic conversation AI technology that OpenAI has managed to create is far above the virtual assistance technology that Google has been investing years in.
The final nail in the coffin came with OpenAI joining hands with Microsoft to integrate the latest version of ChatGPT with Microsoft Edge and Bing, which would make the search engines far more powerful than Google has ever been.
Google sensed danger and immediately attempted a spoiler campaign by announcing its own LaMDA-based ChatGPT competitor named Bard just two days before Microsoft’s formal announcement about the new partnership.
However, the campaign was quite a disaster considering the haste with which it was made. The demo picture had a factual error where Bard, which not only alarmed its investor but also made its shares drop by $100 billion in market value on Wednesday.
The fact that Google, one of the biggest tech giants in the world, was so threatened by the rollout of the new Bing and Edge version that it rushed to compete and miserably fell in front of the whole world shows how unprepared they are for this challenge, even on the basic experimental level.
I think I see this as a chance to rethink and reimagine and drive search to solve more use cases for our users as well. It’s early days, but you will see us be bold, put things out, get feedback, and iterate and make things better.Sundar Pichai to investors
This incident might not necessarily indicate a permanent downfall of Google, but it has certainly shaken up its stability. Being the longstanding leader of the tech industry, it had gotten far too comfortable to make any revolutionary innovation. But with this new challenge from OpenAI and Microsoft, Google has got to step up its game.