With Microsoft Bing’s increase in market share, and Samsung considering replacing Google Search with Bing as its default search engine, looks like Google is working double time to beat back its A.I. rivals and prove who really is king.
The New York Times has reported that Google is racing to build an all-new search engine powered by A.I technology. Aside from the all-new search engine in the works, it is also working on upgrading its existing search engine with AI features under the project name Magi.
The new search engine being developed offers users a more personalized experience compared to the current search, in order to anticipate the user’s needs. The system would learn what users want to know based on what they’re searching, and offer lists of preselected options for objects to buy, information to research, and other additional information. It would also be more conversational — a bit like chatting with a helpful person.
As to when this new search engine is set to release, it is still in the early stages and there is no clear timetable on when it will be made available.
On the other hand, the new features in the existing Google search under Project Magi are being created by designers, engineers, and executives, with more than 160 people working on it full-time.
Magi would keep ads in the mix of search results. Search queries that could lead to a financial transaction, such as buying shoes or booking a flight, for example, would still feature ads on their results pages.
Keeping ads is important for Google as it is the primary way that they make money off of Search.
The planned additions could also answer questions about software coding and write code based on a user’s request. Google may place an ad under the computer code answers, according to a document obtained by the Times.
Google has also invited some of their employees to test the features of Magi and has encouraged them to ask the search engine follow-up questions to judge its ability to hold a conversation.
The new additions to search are expected to be released to the public next month, and more features will be added in the fall. The company plans to initially release the features to a maximum of one million people and progressively increase to 30 million by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the features will be made available exclusively in the United States.
Aside from the work on the new search engine and Project Magi, Google has also been working on a couple more A.I focused projects:
Google has been in the forefront of A.I. research for years and has been a pioneer in A.I. projects such as self-driving cars and large language models (LLMs) which has been used in the development of generative A.I and chatbots. Google has used LLMs to improve the quality of search but has held off on fully adopting AI because of its issues with generating false and biased statements.
With OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT in November, and Microsoft incorporating the technology to Bing, their priority is winning control of the industry’s next big thing. They have released Bard, which is now on experimental access, however, the technology has not made much of a dent in the popularity of its rivals.
According to the report, modernizing its search engine has been an obsession at Google and all these planned changes could put new A.I technology in phones and homes all over the world.
With all these projects, features, and tools coming up, will Google be able to maintain its stronghold or will more and more companies, brands, and users, consider shifting to their more popular rivals instead? Are all their efforts going to bear fruit? We can only wait and see.
Read more on The New York Times report here.