Google CEO Sundar Pichai: We will act ambitiously but responsibly
Photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/ AFP
Google is preparing its competitor to the popular text generator ChatGPT for public use.
CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that users will “very soon” be able to interact with the corresponding language systems, among other things as a supplement to web searches.
The company may be announcing the relevant details as early as next Wednesday.
According to an invitation quoted by The Verge, the event will be about "using artificial intelligence to rethink how people seek, explore, and interact with information."
It should be "more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need".
The whole thing will be broadcast on YouTube from 2:30 p.m. German time.
However, the invitation does not allude to web searches, but only to the image recognition app Google Lens, which was presented for the first time in 2017, the translation service Translate, Shopping and the map service Google Maps.
All of these products already contain artificial intelligence (AI).
It is therefore conceivable that the innovations that Google will present will not appear spectacular.
Google experimented with language software back in 2018
Language programs are also nothing new for Google.
As early as spring 2018, the company demonstrated a software called Duplex, which called restaurants to make a reservation - and was not recognized as a computer.
Criticism was immediately raised that such technology could be misused.
Since then, Google has allowed employees to use its speech software internally, but has shied away from a broad market launch due to the risks.
But at the end of last year, the developer company OpenAI made its ChatGPT software public, which can formulate texts in seconds that could also have been written by a human being.
The technology caused a stir, but it's far from perfect.
Among other things, ChatGPT sometimes gives wrong answers, which is not always recognizable for users.
Google will be ambitious but responsible in releasing its language software, Pichai assured.
On the one hand, Google is developing the corresponding technology itself; according to US media, the "Apprentice Bard" project is a direct answer to ChatGPT.
On the other hand, the Google subsidiary DeepMind has developed Sparrow, a chatbot that irons out factual errors in an AI and is to go into a semi-public test phase this year.
The whole thing is a race, among other things, for the Internet of the future and the business models behind it: Microsoft is investing billions of dollars in OpenAI and will integrate the start-up's software into its cloud platform and products in the coming months.
According to media reports, among other things, Microsoft's search engine Bing should be linked to it.
Microsoft lags far behind Google in the web search business, despite years of effort.
In the past quarter, Google felt the slack in the online advertising market.
The advertising business for the search engine and video platform YouTube fell by around 3.6 percent year-on-year to $59 billion.
However, gains in cloud services and successful foreign exchange deals helped close the gap.
The parent company Alphabet was able to show a one percent increase in sales to a good 76 billion dollars (69.65 billion euros).
However, analysts had expected around 500 million dollars more.
The stock lost nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday.
Bottom line, Alphabet's earnings fell by a good third year over year to $13.6 billion.
The group recently announced that around 12,000 jobs would be cut because it had grown too quickly for the business during the pandemic boom.
Some investors are also questioning the high costs for potential future projects such as self-driving cars from subsidiary Waymo, healthcare technology or delivery drones.
These areas posted an operating loss of $1.6 billion on $226 million in sales last quarter.