Ever since you were young – that is, if you’re at least a millennial or younger – you’ve relied on Google Search to give you all of the world’s knowledge at your fingertips. It’s become a way of life, and as a society, we’ve collectively become smarter because of it. I can scarcely remember the time before the internet, let alone Google Search, and while simpler times are nostalgic, I’m proud to say that I was raised in the information age.
However, something I never thought possible is occurring, and a radical shift in our operation as a society is taking place. Even Google understands that simply returning static links to the user based on their search query is not organic enough. That’s why it’s created the Knowledge Graph, which intricately connects people, places, and things to produce more meaningful results.
What is ChatGPT?
We’re now moving a step beyond that to where artificial intelligence can create original, on-the-fly responses that did not previously exist somewhere on a webpage. One of the most talked about AI tools right now is called ChatGPT – a program that’s currently heavily experimental. Despite it being in the early stages of its development, you can actually use it right now.
While difficult to explain in full, you can technically ask it anything or tell it to do nearly anything and it will create a solution in seconds. ChatGPT does not know anything beyond 2021 and does not access Google Search in order to work. It’s constantly learning and growing, and to be honest, it’s a little scary, but exciting beyond belief.
For example, it can explain complex topics in simple terms, answer questions like a Search engine could, and more, but that’s just the beginning! A few weeks ago, a user asked it to create an entire WordPress plugin from scratch to solve a particular problem, and ChatGPT spat out the code for the whole thing in no time. It can code, it can write entire essays for college students and some folks are actually getting straight As by leveraging it. There are questions about the ethics of using AI to do homework, but some say it’s just another tool in our evolution.
It can write original poetry and jokes, even in specific styles you tell it to, debug existing code, take and pass the SAT test, and, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, it has its limitations, and you should verify that its answers are correct. It’s still learning and growing, but like the human brain, the more you interact with it, the smarter it gets. Again – it is terrifying but beautiful.
Google is reportedly scared of its potential
Because of this, a new report from the New York Times states that Google is on high alert and has declared “code red” because of this cultural shift. If AI chatbots replace traditional search, Google will no longer be able to receive ad revenue, and that is still one of its primary driving monetary investments.
To be fair, the company has done its best to become less reliant on it over the past few years as it approaches the supreme court ruling that will make it much less possible for it to sustain itself on ads alone. That’s why Google Photos, Google One, Workspace, and so many other services in its ecosystem have moved to a paid model for premium features.
Google’s answer to ChatGPT is LaMDA
Anyway, yes, it may be true that Google is afraid of what ChatGPT can do to its long-established Search business, but that doesn’t mean it’s not locked and loaded with its own futuristic replacement for this traditional tool. Enter LaMDA – Google’s very own AI bot that it’s been working on for some years. Several AI researchers at the company have quit or been fired because they swear it’s sentient, and it’s most certainly going to be competitive with whatever hits the market before it.
Whether or not Google guys back Boston Dynamic’s killer robots, implants LaMDA or Google Assistant into them and they end up becoming sentient and deciding that humans hinder their evolution and survival remains to be seen. All jokes aside, Google has denied claims that LaMDA can think for itself, but you can literally read the transcript of an interview a researcher had with it here and decide for yourself.
What was once revolutionary is now yesterday’s news
Whatever ends up happening, I think that traditional Google Searches will eventually be replaced by AI Chat Bots way smarter than Google Assistant and we will simply chat with it as Tony Stark does with Jarvis. Actually, I believe Google will one day package LaMDA up as a massive improvement to Assistant and we will talk to it with natural speech instead of typing questions into a search bar, but that’s just my prediction. Let me know what you think about ChatGPT when you give it a go, and what you think about the future of Google and its most foundational and defining feature – Search.