Tech giant Google is asking its employees to test various potential ChatGPT competitors in a scramble to catch up to the AI software, which analysts say has the potential to significantly disrupt the internet search market.
Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, has predicted that ChatGPT — which is likely to be integrated into the Bing search engine after a multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft — could disrupt Google search within “a year or two.” The search engine is Google’s primary source of revenue.
The success of ChatGPT, which launched in November 2022, has prompted a scramble by Google to catch up. These efforts include testing Google’s own chatbot software, LamDA, against ChatGPT, and attempts to integrate it into new search products.
The Alphabet company is working on a project under its cloud unit called “Atlas,” which is a “code red” effort to respond to ChatGPT, the large language chatbot that took the public by storm when it launched late last year.
The product tests come after a recent all-hands meeting where employees raised concerns about the company’s competitive edge in AI, given the sudden popularity of ChatGPT, which was launched by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based startup that’s backed by Microsoft.
Google’s AI chief, Jeff Dean, told employees at the time that the company has much more “reputational risk” in providing wrong information and thus is moving “more conservatively than a small startup.” However, he and CEO Sundar Pichai teased at the time that Google may launch similar products to the public some time this year. Google’s prime business is web search, and the company has long touted itself as a pioneer in AI.
CNBC also reviewed documents showing the results of the testing, including one note that showed ChatGPT would be hired as a Level 3 engineer, a position with an average annual salary of $183,000.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.