Gradually, some evidence of Google’s plan to incorporate generative artificial intelligence into its core search business is starting to emerge. According to a New York Times article published on Monday, the tech giant is not just looking to AI-ify its well-known Google Search, but is also developing an all-new, AI-powered search engine designed to anticipate users’ requirements, a venture termed as “Project Magi”.
A number of details are expected to be announced shortly – possibly at the upcoming Google I/O developer event, based on the timeline suggested in the report for the public to have access to the revamped Google Search. However, what is evidently apparent from this report is the mounting tension within Google due to the quick growth of generative AI technology.
We had witnessed this previously when it was revealed that one of the company’s senior management had allegedly declared a “code red” alert when ChatGPT was first released – although CEO Sundar Pichai has denied that the phrase came from him, he did not deny its existence.
It was now made known that Google was once again caught unawares when it heard the news that Samsung may not be extending its 3 billion USD annual contract for the company to remain its default search engine provider in mobile devices, and opt instead for Microsoft’s AI-focused Bing, which was widely mocked in the past.
According to the New York Times report, Google staff was shocked upon being asked to prepare a presentation to encourage Samsung to keep them as the search engine provider, with one of them exclaiming, “Wow, OK, that’s wild”. That, certainly, speaks of the lack of energy and impetus of the company to challenge its position as the number one search engine in the world since the late 2000s.
I understand the logic behind this hesitation of the company – wanting to maintain the quality and security of its search engine, yet at the same time, its employees were clearly taken aback at the idea of one of its key business partners revisiting its service. It’s not surprising then, that Alphabet’s stock dropped by more than 3% in response to this article.
Nevertheless, it seems like the news has helped to stir the company from its contentment and I look forward to seeing the advancement of its services in the coming months.
As an aside, it was unfortunate that SpaceX had to postpone their full Starship-plus-Super-Heavy-rocket test today, however hopefully it will go more smoothly when they try again later this week.