Humans Go To War For Machines: A Case Of Google And OpenAI

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We thought nothing could beat the value that Google brings to the market, as a search engine…at least, not in the next half-a-decade years or more. Over the years, we have seen its market share grow as it dusts other widely-used search engines before it. What can be better than Google? We thought. We even made it an official word, a verb, as much as it is a noun.

Do you know where tacos originate from? You can ‘google’ it. Such power no other search engine ever had.

Well, all was going well for Google’s deep research until ChatGPT arrived officially on November 30, 2022, powered by the San Francisco-based OpenAI. And, oh boy! did it shake the market.

Why?

While Google provides you with the best available knowledge base for your query, ChatGPT becomes the platform with direct answers. This is not just with fluffy words, but practical steps to follow.

Encouraging good reading competence and offering actionable knowledge, ChatGPT often offers details such as “strategies”, “steps”, and “tips” in a numbering style.

If anything, humans have become lazier with all the things that technology can do for them. It is why humans’ attention span has drastically reduced in the age of the internet, and we are more compelled by visual content than by written words. Or better, if it can be read to us while we rest our heads, then we’d rather not read it ourselves.

It is why YouTube and other streaming platforms offer you a playlist of similar media, to prevent you from searching for it. It is why you subscribe to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc., just to have all your movies in one place rather than look for them over the internet, go to the cinema to watch, or the need to search Google for “2023 Action, thriller movies.” It offers you convenience!

Have you thought about it like that?

Part of the human trait of digital laziness is what would take ChatGPT to a seat at Google’s search engine table. Why flip through Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) pages and tabs to find the best content that meets your needs when there is one platform that is versatile in numerous fields and can give your direct answers in seconds?

ChatGPT and Google Search Engine are not Mates!

While both platforms are data-driven –insanely huge tons of data, ChatGPT’s AI intelligence in managing details is more impressive.

For instance, you can search Google for “Research on how genetics affect the growth of children”. However, you can tell ChatGTP “Give me a list of points detailing how genetics affect the physical growth of children with one research paper that backs up each point. The results are illustrated below.

Note: this query is only for demonstrative purposes.

Google query result

ChatGPT query result

Notice the differences? I bet you do.

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So, why go through many clicks to find seven different publications for each point on the influence of genetics on child development when there is a tool that can give me the information and research concisely and intelligibly? Do you get the point now?

Exactly! Such convenience is what ChatGPT brings to the internet user. It offers research-based answers to the tasks it is asked to perform. The possibilities of the chatbot are great for individuals and businesses. Google searches for multimedia, ChatGPT, for now, only works for texts and can offer theoretical results.

Comparing Google SE and ChatGPT

Google gives a list of best fit for searches through deep research of everything that can be crawled on the open web.

Google offers generic answers with possible places where the answers to an enquirer’s queries are best responded to, using different SEO metrics. ChatGPT is trained to offer specific, research-based answers. It is said to have a knowledge base of the world up to 2021 (based on the loaded data as of when this piece is written). However, it knows of (almost) anything that exists on the internet (as long as it is within the policies of OpenAI for the bot); it knows books, news, history, and so on! Whew.

While ChatGPT acknowledges its limits, stating its knowledge base reaching 2021 or how you’d rather speak with a professional on an issue, rather than trust its own information, Google would rather go on to show you unrelated results or even a language not involved in your search query. Of course, it is understandable; Google is only a database for other information, and you can always filter your results or inform it to find your exact words.

Google may have more information on news and people. ChatGPT has nothing to offer on entities not “widely known.”

Moreover, Google makes noise on the SERPs with adverts. ChatGPT offers answers directly. Google offers the opportunity to explore options for your answers all at once (from which you make your pick), and ChatGPT offers no such thing except you ask specific questions or remodel your query. Also, Google recommends similar search queries you might be interested in, that are associated with your queries. For ChatGPT, how far you can ask is how far you get.

Different, but Comparable:

In the end, both are different but comparable. One is a search engine, the other is a conversational AI bot. Google has a different goal in mind from ChatGPT. For instance, with the former, there are options and visibilities for different brands or things on the open web, but the latter takes away visibility for content on the web.

The wars are imminent now. The biggest search engine company might be losing its ground to a 2015 company with a very new product. Would it have been easy for Google to buy them out? Maybe, but not when another giant like Microsoft has indicated an interest in OpenAI and committed to a $10 Billion investment even, raising the value further. It looks like a good deal for OpenAI, as they need Microsoft’s funds and cloud-computing power to manage the massive data size and to run complex and powerful programs such as DaLL-E.

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The tech world is capitalist. Here, sharks eat sharks. You cannot stay in a spot for too long. We thought Google helpful content update of 2022 was the icing on the cake for people seeking information-driven content and not just clickbait. ChatGPT has offered something better.

How will Google react to OpenAI’s chatbot? Especially when the news about ChatGPT3.5 is making the rounds. Well, the long meetings in Google office are no more rumors. Google has announced bringing its chatbot for the ride. So, we may be saying welcome to Google Bard soon.

It is Not the First Time

OpenAI called for war. Indirectly. Like IBM’s Watson. Hopes were high for Watson as it launched in 2010, but those same hopes came crashing like the waves on the sea because the tool did not live to fulfill the promise of its founders to “transform industries and generate riches for the company.”

Market contenders that killed Watson’s fame (before it even grew) include Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Here is a demonstrative view of search engine wars for popularity and relevance over the years.

AI keeps changing the game, the market, the competencies, and human behavior.

However, humans are the fuel for these virtual machine wars.

Companies are developing creative ideas to help individuals and businesses make their tasks easier. It is a trait of the capitalist market. These different AI software packages, with deep machine learning capabilities, are their leverage to their specific audience. However, many people are thinking of similar solutions. The difference in the achievements is how far each developer is willing to go in offering such services, how affordable they can make it, and the incentive they are willing to offer as add-ons.

This war has no end. However, for now, in the league of conversational bots, ChatGPT has the floor. They have released subsequent version updates since it was launched. The versions were called December 15, January 9, and January 30 versions (these were the only ones available as of when this article was written).

While OpenAI is open to using users’ comments to enhance the tool’s competency, one can only hope they go fully into its commercialization soon enough to get the best of it as the ‘hot cake’ it is. It is why the company constantly worked to improve the tool and manage ethical issues with Moderation API.

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That’s not to talk of the threats made to ChatGPT over some ethical issues. They include academic concerns of impersonation or malpractice, social and cultural biases, deception through imitating human likeness, and more. Although OpenAI talks about the efforts for moderation, humans often determine what they get by what questions they ask and how they are structured. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has seen tremendous improvement in its response over its predecessor InstructGPT on ethical issues such as violence/bullying and adult content.

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Definitely, this Sun will not shine forever. However, is this nighttime for Google?

Google announced to the public that they have been experimenting with conversation AI services built on the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) that they’ve had for some years. It’s a show-off, if you ask, but also a response to OpenAI. They have opened it to trusted testers. Interestingly, they promise to release it to the public in the “coming weeks”!

We had thought technology would fight human wars in the distant future. We were wrong! Humans are the ones fighting technology wars.

That’s the rivalry, the competition. What had been in the hallway for two years would suddenly jump into the open in weeks. In the press release, one cannot but notice Google’s boast of being too long in the game with different AI tools, including BERT, MUM, PaLM, etc.

These machines threaten humans who work in related fields as they take on more human roles. The irony is that humans empower them to replace humans. We thought technology would fight human wars in the distant future. We were wrong technically)! Humans are the ones fighting technology wars. Or do I say humans incarnate technology to fight its battles: the very contests we create?

Somehow, out of its hurried steps, Google’s AI Bard made a mistake in one of its answers in a demonstrative and promotional video, giving an inaccurate answer. AI’s mistake, but the cost is humans’. The error’s notice cost Alphabet, Google’s parent company, $100bn, which was about a 9% devaluation. Of course, some inaccuracies have been found with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, too; I already mentioned the failure to identify some names or events; however, Google is a more respected brand, which made the hit much more severe. The inaccuracy came from humans who code but the company (owned and invested in by humans) bears the financial brunt.

My Final Thoughts

AI is a game-changer in the world of machine processes and tools. Data mining, management, and processing make the game expensive. We may say it is AI vs AI; in reality, it is how much more creative one person is than the other. It is a fight for power, money, and influence. AI is only a tool in the game. While today, most companies have the power, money, and influence through resourcefulness, fundraising, investment, and partnership, among others, the durability of the tool that will possess the largest market share will lie in its ability to evolve.

By: M. Abimbola Mosobalaje
Source: Hackernoon


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