Google is rushing to create a brand new search engine that can predict what you’re looking for using artificial intelligence, according to a new report.
Interacting with the new service will be like chatting with a chatbot, reports the New York Times. The CSE reportedly predicts what you want based on your searches when you start using it. It would also create a pre-selected list of products when you shop, fetch relevant searches and other information.
Seemingly the experience will be like talking to a helpful person who knows what you want and can provide advice.
While Google is still in the early stages of developing the new tool, the shake points to its broader vision for AI. Next month, the company plans to upgrade its current search engine using its latest AI systems, known as large language models. Another AI-powered service update is expected this fall, according to internal documents viewed by The New York Times.
Google tentatively launched a chatbot called Bard earlier this year to a lukewarm reception.
The bot was caught throwing a blunder at its presentation, wiping $100bn (£80.5bn) off the market valuation of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google chief Sundar Pichai even said his company doesn’t fully understand all of the bot’s capabilities. The remarks were made in reference to the AI’s ability to quickly understand new languages, without any prior training. Like other AI systems, Bard can also spread disinformation, a phenomenon known in the industry as “hallucination”.
However, Google reportedly has plans to integrate the technology with even more products. He’s already working on a tool called GIFI that lets you generate GIFs using AI in Google Image results. A separate service called Tivoli Tutor would teach users a new language through AI conversations.
One of the main hurdles Google is facing is how to implement digital ads within the new tools. Targeting ads based on users’ Internet browsing activity is the company’s biggest cash cow. In its current guise, Bard doesn’t contain ads, but Google plans to integrate them alongside conversations on its search engine.
Google has added new AI models for search in the past, but these typically work behind the scenes. For example, that of the company Multitasking unified model, or MUM, is designed to reduce the amount of research needed to answer your question. The system can also recognize both text and images, and up to 75 different languages, to deliver refined results, Google says.
Meanwhile, competition threatens to drive users away from Google search. Both OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing AI have been used by over 100 million people. Their growth has caught the attention of other tech companies, including partners of Google who use its search engine on their smartphones in exchange for a fee.
Samsung, for example, is considering switching to Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Such a move would apparently cost Google $3bn (£2.4bn) in annual revenue. Similarly, Google is making $20bn (£16bn) in a deal with Apple that sees Google Search act as the default search engine on the iPhone. That contract will be renewed later this year amid rumors that Apple is working on its own AI speech technology for Siri.