Google will soon use AI as 'a companion to search'
Google has big plans for artificial intelligence
Google is accelerating the development of its AI models as it prepares to integrate more artificial intelligence tech into its consumer products.
Speaking in a recent earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai said AI was “the most profound technology we are working on today” and had finally reached an “inflection point” after years of research and development – much of which has been pushed by Google’s own in-house research teams.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Google’s AI dreams
🤖 Google will accelerate its use and development of artificial intelligence
📢 CEO Sindar Pichai announced big plans for AI at a recent earnings call
💭 He wants Google to use its “language models as a companion to search”
🧠 But noted the responsibility that AI development demands
Pichai said the tech giant is working to “unlock the incredible opportunities AI enables”, starting with figuring out how it can better wield the tech to support its current services. As well as making its own AI language model, LaMDA, available for people to use, it will also start looking for ways to use the tech in new ways that support the Google search engine.
While most casual users know AI language models as tools that generate fun little conversations – or entire school essays – it’s also a powerful way of constructing and summarizing information. Pichai said that elements of the tech could pair with Google Search to show users the information they’re after more quickly and more concisely.
“Very soon, people will be able to interact directly with our newest, most powerful language models as a companion to search in experimental and innovative ways. Stay tuned,” Pichai said, after clarifying: “We’ll pursue this work boldly but with a deep sense of responsibility, with our AI principles and the highest standard of information integrity at the core of all our work.”
Google’s no stranger to AI. It’s been producing academic research papers and proof-of-concept tools for the best part of a decade. Just this week, a Google research team revealed an impressive music-generating AI that can produce convincing songs, ranging across styles and genres, from short text prompts.
Pichai’s promotion and advocacy of AI come at a time when interest in the burgeoning tech has reached new heights. Competitor Microsoft recently announced a multi-billion dollar investment in AI research firm OpenAI, which itself has just revealed a premium subscription tier for its viral AI chatbot ChatGPT.
Add to that the revelation that CNET has been using AI language models to pen explainer articles for the last 18 months, despite the problems that might cause, as well as Buzzfeed’s recent plans to adopt the tech for quizzes and lists, and it's not surprising that Pichai is keen to assure investors that Google is placing itself at the forefront of the AI revolution. Hopefully, it actually pays off for us users.
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