Hats off to OpenAI; it takes quite the force to make Google, the search messiah, afraid. That’s just what happened in late 2022 when OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT shocked the world. Now, Google is worried about ChatGPT, and it declared a code red for the company. But why is the company shaking in its boots?
Firstly, what is ChatGPT?
So, if you don’t know what ChatGPT is, it’s quite a piece of artificial intelligence. It’s an AI chatbot that’s meant to be an all-in-one source of information, advice, content, and support. You can ask for information just like you would on Google or Bing. For example, you can ask something like “When should I feed my baby solid food?”. It’ll deliver a direct answer.
ChatGPT doesn’t stop there. This chatbot can deliver written content. You can ask it to write stories, scripts, poems, and even full news articles. All you have to do is type in what you want the chatbot to spit out, and you will get results.
To top it off, ChatGPT can also just be there to chat. You can type in any subject that you want to talk about, and you’ll be able to have a full and developed conversation. Type in something like “I want to chat” or simply type in the subject you want to talk about. You’ll have a back-and-forth conversation about it.
We have a lot more information about ChatGPT. If you want to know just about everything there is to know about it, click here. If you want to know how to use ChatGPT, click here.
Why is Google worried about ChatGPT?
So, ChatGPT does a lot of stuff and more, but what does that have to do with Google? Well, a ton! What is Google known for mostly? Sure, it has its Pixel phones and it owns Nest and Fitbit amongst other companies, but it’s primarily a search company. The mass majority of the internet is powered by Google Search.
Google has an ad business, and Search is a huge part of it. Millions of people and companies around the world buy advertising space on the Google search page. When someone clicks on their ad, Google gets the majority of that money. The more people use Search, the more chance that someone clicks on the ads. Hence, Google gets more money.
This is why people using ChatGPT as a Google alternative is such a bad thing for the company. Google sells a bunch of Nest, Fitbit, and Pixel devices, but those net the company chump change compared to ads.
In 2022, ads made up over 80% of the company’s yearly revenue ($147 billion according to CNBC). About 71% of that came from ads on search pages ($104 million). So, ad revenue from the search engine made up about 57% of the company’s total yearly revenue.
It doesn’t take a math wiz to know that that’s a massive chunk of the company’s money. If enough people start using ChatGPT in lieu of Google search, the company is in for some severe losses.
What makes ChatGPT a threat
There are some factors that make ChatGPT a particularly large thorn in Google’s paw. Firstly, people will turn to it to do things for them. A lot of the time, people will turn to Google to ask how to do something. “Best courses to learn to code”, “Best books to read about becoming an author”, etc.
However, ChatGPT has the ability to do things for people. Why ask how to code when you can have it made for you? Why try to learn how to become an author if you can just have ChatGPT generate a book for you? Google will see a dip in traffic from people who want to learn the tools of the trade. They’ll flock to ChatGPT to have things made for them.
Also, there’s the lack of noise
What might be the largest reason that Google is worried is the lack of noise. Question: if you’re looking for advice on how to swaddle a baby, would you rather ask a single person for a concise answer or talk to a group of people who’ll have varying answers and conflicting arguments? Most people will opt for the first option.
The thing is that when you’re Googling topics, you run the risk of being overloaded with a ton of conflicting results. You can search how to swaddle a baby and get results like “Best ways to swaddle your baby” and you could also get something like “DO NOT Swaddle your baby!” right under it. Then, you could see “Best alternatives to swaddling your baby” right under “Does swaddling your baby cause brain tumors?”.
That’s something that people on Google have to deal with. If you ask ChatGPT this question, it will just give you a short, sweet, and to-the-point list of how to do it. You don’t have to bother with wading through results. Now, we can’t ignore the risk of ChatGPT giving wrong information. However, this won’t stop people from flocking over to the chatbot for their queries.
What is Google doing?
So, that’s why Google is worried about ChatGPT, but what is the company doing? Google has come up with a way to counter its competition. The company unveiled its own AI chatbot called Bard. You can read more about it here. As you can imagine, it’s expected to do pretty much the same things that ChatGPT does. Instead of getting a slew of search results, you’ll get straightforward answers.
This will be auspicious for the company, as people will be able to get answers backed up by the chatbot while still being fed search results. This will ensure that people are still using Google and are still able to click on ads from the company.
At the moment, we’re still waiting for the competition between ChatGPT and Bard to heat up. We’re sure that, within a year’s time, the AI landscape will be completely different from what it is now.