Google is expected to announce artificial intelligence integrations for the company’s search engine on February 8 at 8:30 am Eastern. It’s free to watch live on YouTube.
“We’re starting with AI-powered features in Search that distill complex info into easy-to-digest formats, so you can see the big picture, then explore more,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote on Twitter in the lead-up to the event. Despite recent layoffs, the company remains an assertive force in Silicon Valley. The viral success of other generative AI models, specifically OpenAI’s ChatGPT, put pressure on the company to expedite its experimental research for public use.
Google commanded the online search business for years, while Microsoft’s Bing remained a distant competitor. Microsoft, an OpenAI investor, plans to weave generative AI into its search engine in an effort to differentiate the experience from Google and attract more users. Will this year be a renaissance for Bing? Who knows, but users can expect to soon see more text crafted by AI as they navigate through their search engine of choice.
Among all these announcements, one core question persists: Is generative AI actually ready to help you surf the web? These models are costly to power and hard to keep updated, and they love to make shit up. Public engagement with the technology is rapidly shifting as more people test out the tools, but generative AI’s positive impact on the consumer search experience is still largely unproven.
During the event, Google may release more information about one of its responses to ChatGPT, an AI service called “Bard” that uses the company’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications. It is not available to the public just yet, but the company claims it’s rolling out the feature to a small group for testing and that more people will get to experience Bard in the near future.
You may be familiar with AI text and AI images, but these mediums are only the starting point for generative AI. Google is beginning to share even more information about its research into the possibilities for AI audio and AI video. Plenty of startups in Silicon Valley are also vying for attention (and investment windfalls) as more mainstream uses for large language models emerge.
Are you curious about the boom of generative AI and want to learn even more about this nascent technology? Check out WIRED’s extensive (human-written) coverage of the topic, including how teachers are using it at school, how fact-checkers are addressing potential disinformation, and how it could change customer service forever.