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Google Search to Include Chat AI -report

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company plans to add an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot to its search engine as an increasing number of technology companies explore the use of AI in their services. 

Pichai told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that Google will add conversational AI features, which he said would help Google answer a wider range of search inquiries.  He dismissed the notion that chatbots posed a threat to Google’s search business, which accounts for more than half of revenue at parent Alphabet Inc.

Google has at times been wary of radically altering the way users interact with its search engine.PHOTO: LAURYN ISHAK/BLOOMBERG NEWS

The Journal reported that Google has been developing computer programs called large language models (LLMs) that can understand and respond to prompts almost as a human would. Pichai said he wants to use LLMs to help improve how users search on Google’s browser. 

“Will people be able to ask questions to Google and engage with LLMs in the context of search? Absolutely,” he said. 

Pichai’s remarks come as major technology companies have launched AI chatbots. 

OpenAI has launched ChatGPT and its updated version, GPT-4, while Google created Bard as a competitor. Microsoft announced one day after Google unveiled Bard in February that it will include AI features in its search engine. 

The rapid development of AI technology has raised concerns inside and outside the industry. Elon Musk and a number of other technology experts called for a six-month pause on the development of advanced AI systems last month, arguing that it could bring “risks to society.” 

They said more powerful AI systems than GPT-4 should only be created once society can know they will create positive effects and manageable risks. 

The Journal reported that Google has also started experimenting with new AI features in Gmail and other products. 

“It has been incredible to see user excitement around adoption of these technologies, and some of that is a pleasant surprise as well,” Pichai said. 

He said Google needs to work to adapt its resources to continue to develop AI and manage its costs. He said the company’s two main AI units, Google Brain and DeepMind, will start collaborating more closely to create large algorithms for the AI technology. 

“I expect a lot more, stronger collaboration, because some of these efforts will be more compute-intensive, so it makes sense to do it at a certain scale together,” Pichai said. (Hill & WSJ)

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