The Gist

  • Google's new AI chat feature announced. Google is integrating an AI chat feature into its search engine to offer personalized and user-friendly search results.
  • Chat powered by LaMDA. The new AI-chat allows users to converse with an AI assistant without navigating to a separate messaging app.
  • Microsoft can't let Google take all the glory. The company just released a new tool called Image Creator, which uses the DALL-E AI model to generate images based on written descriptions.

Google has announced it will integrate an AI chat feature into its primary search engine, allowing users to have conversations with an AI assistant directly within the search results — without having to navigate to a separate messaging app.

In an exclusive interview this week, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told The Wall Street Journal that the new chat AI technology would “supercharge” Google's capacity to respond to a broad range of search inquiries and refuted the idea that chatbots would endanger Google's search business.

While Google has been at the forefront of large language model (LLM) development — computer programs capable of processing natural-language prompts and generating humanlike responses — the company hasn’t leveraged the tech within search until now.

Powered by LaMDA, Google's current AI technology (and its answer to rival, ChatGPT), the new chat feature can be accessed by clicking on a "chat" button within the search results and provides users with answers to their questions and information in a conversational style.

Google plans to roll out the feature in the coming weeks, starting with English-language users in the United States.

Improving User Experience: Google Adds AI Chat to Main Search Engine

The move to incorporate AI chat into the main search engine is part of Google's broader efforts to make search more personalized and user-friendly.

Google first announced Bard on Feb. 6, and instead of integrating AI tech into its primary search platform, the company opened it up to “trusted testers” who were given access to its LaMDA-powered AI service.

Just a day earlier, Microsoft announced it would incorporate the tech that powers ChatGPT into its own search engine.

Soon after the Bard announcement, Googlers took to the internal meme generator Memegen, to criticize CEO Sundar Pichai, calling his handling of the Bard announcement, “rushed,” “botched” and “un-Googley.”

Related Article: Google CEO Asks for Help With AI Chatbot Bard in Leaked Memo

Pichai Addresses Bard's Reception

Last week, Pichai shared his feelings about Bard’s lukewarm reception following Microsoft’s launch of its AI-powered Bing search engine on the New York Times Hard Fork podcast where he admitted, “I think it was slightly maybe lost.”

Learning Opportunities

“We haven’t hooked up Bard to our most capable models yet, and we plan to do it deliberately,” Pichai said. “And so, through this moment, I think we are going to stay balanced, but we are going to innovate.”

Related Article: Next up for AI Chatbots: It's All About the APIs

Microsoft Launches Image Creator

Microsoft also came out with AI news this week within the image arena with the release of a new tool called Image Creator, integrated into the Edge sidebar.

The tool allows users to create images based on written descriptions using the DALL-E AI model, which was developed by OpenAI. The tool can generate images of various objects and scenes based on text input, including animals, plants, landscapes and more.

Pichai's Vision: AI Enhancement of Google Search Insights

In February, Pichai explained his vision for the latest AI advancements, starting with Search.

“When people think of Google, they often think of turning to us for quick factual answers, like ‘how many keys does a piano have?’ But increasingly, people are turning to Google for deeper insights and understanding — like, “is the piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each need?” Pichai said. “Learning about a topic like this can take a lot of effort to figure out what you really need to know, and people often want to explore a diverse range of opinions or perspectives.”

Check back next week for updates on this ongoing story.

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