Google plans to host an online event dubbed ‘Live from Paris’ on February 8th, where the company will talk about AI, Search, Maps and more.
In the event description on the YouTube page for the event, Google notes that it’s “reimagining how people search for, explore and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need.” The company goes on to note that it’s “opening up greater access to information for people everywhere, through Search, Maps and beyond.”
Moreover, Android Police reports that Google told the publication it plans to talk about how it will use AI to reshape search.
While that all sounds interesting, it’s worth noting the timing of all this. For one, Google typically doesn’t do announcements like this early in the year — we’d see these at the company’s annual I/O developer conference instead. But that conference is still happening in May as usual.
This suggests Google is trying to react quickly to OpenAI and ChatGPT. Reports have swirled for the last few weeks that Google has gone “code red” over ChatGPT and is rushing to respond, such as by sharing a recent research project called ‘MusicLM‘ that makes music with AI and reportedly testing a ChatGPT-like chatbot called ‘Apprentice Bard’ based on Google’s LaMDA language model. (Yes, the same one that an ex-Google employee claimed was sentient.)
Adding to that, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on a recent earnings call that Google was preparing to let people “interact directly” with its newest language models “as a companion to search.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft has also been in the news for its massive investments in OpenAI and reported plans to integrate ChatGPT into various products, like Bing search. More recently, Microsoft revealed its Teams Premium service with AI capabilities powered by the GPT-3.5 language model — the same one used by ChatGPT.
It’ll be interesting to see how Google responds to all this, though it seems we may learn that sooner rather than later. Further, Android Police suggested Google was pushing its internal teams tasked with overseeing fairness and ethics in AI to approve projects faster, which could have significant drawbacks if AI projects aren’t properly vetted before the public gets access to them.