Google's Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai has confirmed that Google plans to add conversational artificial intelligence features to its flagship search engine, in a move that could see it allow users to interact directly with the company’s large language models (LLMs) through its search engine.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Pichai said that the advances in AI would supercharge Google’s ability to answer an array of search queries and allow users to ask follow-up questions to their original queries.
This announcement comes after Microsoft rolled out its enhanced version of the Bing search engine which is now powered by ChatGPT, long a distant laggard to Google search, posing one of the biggest threats to Google’s core business: Search – where it currently controls more than 90% share globally.
Following huge pressure from Microsoft's ChatGPT-powered Bing, Google launched its owned AI-based chatbot, Bard, to the public last month. But due to a botched release, the company didn’t integrate it into its search engine and instead offered it through a waitlist as a stand-alone site.
The company said last month that it would begin “thoughtfully integrating LLMs into search in a deeper way,” but until now hadn’t detailed plans to offer conversational features.
Google’s incorporation of AI into its ubiquitous search tools signals the company’s commitment to competing against Microsoft-backed OpenAI and others. Like Microsoft, which has since integrated AI technology into most of its products, Google now aims to use its investment in AI models to win wider businesses.