Google will leapfrog rivals with AI event next week

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Google is holding an AI event next week to make some announcements ahead of rivals.

The web giant says the event will provide an update on how Google is “using the power of AI to reimagine how people search for, explore, and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need.”

OpenAI reportedly set off alarm bells at Google with ChatGPT. At the invite of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the company’s founders – Larry Page and Sergey Brin – returned for a series of meetings to review Google’s AI product strategy.

In the wake of those meetings, it was allegedly decided that Google will speed up its AI review process so it can deploy solutions more quickly.

Microsoft has invested over $10 billion in OpenAI and has begun integrating the company’s powerful AI models into its products.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft is set to go after Google’s main product – Google Search – by integrating a more powerful version of ChatGPT into Bing. The version that will be integrated into Bing will be powered by GPT-4.

Baidu, the “Google of China,” is expected to reveal its own AI-powered chatbot in March that will be integrated into the company’s search product. The model powering Baidu’s alternative is called ERNIE.

In 2021, Baidu’s researchers posted a paper on ERNIE 3.0 in which they claim the model exceeds human performance on the SuperGLUE natural language benchmark. ERNIE 3.0 set a new top score on SuperGLUE and displaced efforts from Google and Microsoft.

Baidu isn’t a threat to Google’s search business like Microsoft is, but could make Google look like it’s just playing catch up to rivals. To avoid that, Google appears to be fast-tracking its announcements.

Google was initially expected to make its AI announcements during its I/O developer conference in May. However, by that time, rivals like Microsoft and Baidu will have already launched their own alternatives. What’s currently new and exciting will be yawn-inducing come May.

Now it looks like we’ll be seeing at least some of what Google has cooking a lot sooner. Google will be hosting its 40-minute event on YouTube on February 8th at 8:30am ET (1:30pm GMT).

(Image Credit: Google)

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