OpenAI challenges Google's search supremacy with Bing-powered AI product

The news: OpenAI is developing a web search product that would be partly powered by Microsoft Bing.

ChatGPT currently utilizes Bing to respond to certain queries, but it isn’t known if the new search product will be incorporated into the chatbot or be a standalone offering.

Direct confrontation: There’s been talk about the rise of the generative AI (genAI) sector possibly threatening Google’s search dominance since ChatGPT’s viral debut, but so far the tech giant’s search lead has remained intact.

  • As of January, Google commanded 91.47% of the global search market compared to Bing’s 3.42%, according to StatCounter.
  • OpenAI is likely motivated by Perplexity AI, another startup that’s developing an AI-native search engine to take on Google.
  • ChatGPT can function as a search tool; however it’s slow compared to Google Search. Because it’s used for other tasks like proofreading, coding, creating charts, and creative uses, it’s not ideal as a standalone search product.
  • Google is also investing in genAI enhancements for search. Its flagship Gemini Ultra model could help the revamped search engine get ready for primetime.

What it takes to win: Google is nearly synonymous with “search.” Significantly eating its market share is a formidable challenge.

  • Building an AI-native search engine would be advantageous in terms of being able to better weave the technology into search from the ground up and scale more seamlessly as AI advances.
  • Still, Google has advantages that are tough to beat. Decades of search dominance give it a Big Data lead and a familiar user interface that people generally trust to reliably give them information they seek.
  • GenAI’s hallucinations and the difficulties with monetizing AI search beyond a subscription format make it messy to incorporate into a search engine.
  • Consumers will likely pay for a subscription AI search engine, but it will have to perform faster and more reliably than Google’s flagship search product.
  • OpenAI has a lot on its plate including developing AI agents and artificial general intelligence (AGI).
  • Too many new upgrades and product lines can confuse consumers. The crucial approach is to develop a comprehensive, high-performing multipurpose platform with a simple-to-use interface.

First Published on Feb 15, 2024

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