Can ChatGPT Be the Game-Changer Microsoft Needs to Dethrone Google?

Reports say Microsoft will use OpenAI’s tech to improve its search engine and other products

Nabil Alouani

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Two months before ChatGPT came out, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, had an interview about the place of Artificial Intelligence in the future of business. The first thing that came out of his mouth was Google.

“I’d guess that with the quality of Language Models that we’ll see in the coming years,” he said, “there will be a serious challenge to Google for the first time.” Sam then made it clear he was talking about Google as “a search product” — an important distinction we’ll discuss in a minute.

For now, let’s fast forward to the 4th of January. Microsoft is reportedly planning to upgrade its Bing search engine using ChatGPT. Much like the latter, Bing would answer search queries using natural language instead of a list of links. The only difference is that Bing would access the Internet in real-time and possibly provide a list of links on top of its text response.

“Microsoft hopes the new feature, which could launch before the end of March, will help it outflank Google, its much bigger search rival.” The Information wrote in a piece based on reports from “two people with direct knowledge of the [Microsoft] plans.”

Back in 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI and in return, they got a license for GPT-3 — the predecessor of the tech behind ChatGPT. Today Microsoft may use the power of Language Models to threaten Google’s online dominance. Rumors say they have already started the process by reinvesting another $10 billion in OpenAI around December 2022.

“Microsoft has been in talks to invest $10 billion into the owner of ChatGPT […], people familiar with the matter said,” Semafor wrote in a report. “Microsoft’s infusion would be part of a complicated deal in which the company would get 75% of OpenAI’s profits until it recoups its investment.”

At first glance, the deal seems like a simple transaction: I give you money now, and you give me equity and a cut of your future profits. But when you look past the spreadsheets, you realize the real prize for Microsoft is the access to OpenAI’s tech — and Bing…

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Nabil Alouani

Engineering (Software) | Engineering (Prompts for LLMs) | Engineering (Ideas) || 100% human-generated content || Weekly mails: https://nabilalouani.substack.com