Google parent company stocks take a hit

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Google — Alphabet, Google’s parent firm, saw its shares fall in early trade on Monday.

Following a study that raised worries about Google’s primary search engine losing popularity, the company’s stock sank by more than 3%.

As the product continues to acquire importance in today’s industry, the drop might be linked to AI-powered competitors such as Microsoft’s Bing.

What happened?

The New York Times was the first to report on the digital behemoths’ internal anxiety, citing internal papers and messages that have yet to be analyzed.

In March, Google staffers learnt that Samsung was considering changing its system to make Bing the default search engine for its mobile devices, with Google as a secondary choice in the app store.

Following Microsoft’s AI improvements to Bing, the company’s competitiveness had already increased, causing a rush to build Bard, Google’s answer to the ChatGPT-infused Bing.

According to the Times, Google has prioritized the construction of another AI-powered search engine, Project “Magi,” in response to the current competition.

Project Magi

According to reports, Google has around 160 workers working on the new project.

Project Magi is a work in progress that aims to alter how search results display on Google.

It comes with an AI chat feature that is ready to answer the user’s inquiries.

According to the article, the project will be released to the public next month.

The AI development

According to Google spokesperson Lara Levin, the business has been using AI for years to do the following:

  • To improve the quality of the results
  • To offer new and unique ways to search

According to Levin, Google previously launched an AI function in 2022 that allowed users to search using a combination of images and text.

“We’ve done so in a responsible and helpful way that maintains the high bar we set for delivering quality information,” said Levin.

“Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new AI-powered features to Search, and will share more details soon.”

Read also: Corporate America and gun violence, a difficult relationship

A heated race

For the past two decades, the Google search engine has dominated the industry, becoming the tool of choice for the majority of users.

However, the widespread popularity of ChatGPT constituted a danger, putting the tech titans on the defensive for the first time since the internet’s inception.

The success of ChatGPT may be attributed to its one-of-a-kind mechanism, which enables the AI tool to generate interesting textual answers depending on the user’s requests.

Google enabled consumers to use Bard, the company’s AI chatbot tool and its answer to ChatGPT, in March.

The company promised that Bard would assist users with a variety of tasks, such as outlining and writing essay drafts, planning baby showers, and coming up with lunch ideas based on the contents of a refrigerator.

During a February event, a Google official stated that the business will include the magic of generative AI into its main search product, paving the way for the next wave of the company’s information offerings.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has invested in and worked with OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT.

The collaboration enables the corporation to employ comparable technology in Bing and other productivity products.

Meanwhile, numerous prominent corporations and startups are developing and deploying AI-powered technologies, including:

  • Baidu
  • IBM
  • Meta

The risks of AI

Despite their eagerness to embrace AI, IT firms are aware of the risks it entails, as AI is known to make errors and “hallucinate” solutions.

This is especially true with search engines, which most people rely on for accurate and dependable information.

Google drew a lot of flak after the Bard experiment, which yielded an incorrect answer to a query concerning a telescope.

Alphabet’s stock dropped 7.7%, wiping $100 billion off the company’s market worth.

Although it took a while, Microsoft’s Bing AI demo was criticized for various faults.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in an interview with 60 Minutes that corporations must be responsible while developing and releasing AI capabilities.

Regarding Google, Pichai stated that the corporation must provide time for user feedback in order to establish more solid safety layers before building and deploying more competent models.

Pichai believes that AI technologies will have a substantial influence on enterprises, professions, and society.

“This is going to impact every product across every company and so that’s– that’s why I think it’s a very, very profound technology,” he said.

‘And so, we are just in early days.”

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