The Game Is Afoot: an Epic AI Battle Between Alphabet and Microsoft
Alphabet and Microsoft both announced plans for AI-enhanced search this week, which takes the artificialintelligence race into a new phase. ChatGPT which is a well-known NLP model, is the reason for this battle. In order to understand what is really happening, we need to dig a little bit into the technology behind ChatGPT.
The Foundation: What is Natural Language Processing?
Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of AI that allows computers to process language like humans. The best-known NLP tool is GPT3, which is capable of performing advanced tasks like programming and solving math problems. For businesses, GPT-3 has proven promising in writing, coding, and discipline-specific reasoning. In fact, GPT-3 is a foundation model, which is an emerging AI research area that also works for other types of data such as images and videos. NLP can be used for a variety of tasks, such as classifying documents, analyzing sentiment, and summarizing reports. Organizations can prepare for the future by identifying their text data assets and determining how NLP can add value to their business.
The Rise of ChatGPT
GPT is a natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI that uses a neural network architecture and unsupervised learning to generate responses without needing to be explicitly told what the correct response is. ChatGPT is capable of generating responses that are consistent with the context of the conversation, making it a powerful tool for handling a wide range of conversational tasks. It is also capable of performing other NLP tasks, such as language translation, text summarization, and sentiment analysis.
However, like every AI model, this one has its limitations, which include its large and complex nature, which makes it resource-intensive to run, and the fact that it is a generative model that may not always provide accurate answers to specific questions. The quality and quantity of the data that the model has been trained on also limit its accuracy in generating responses outside of its training data. Despite these limitations, ChatGPT remains a powerful and versatile NLP model that has a wide range of applications.
The current usage of ChatGPT is to produce paragraphs of written English, as well as create blocks of computer code on command. It has the capacity to perform different kinds of writing and can greatly increase the productivity of businesses in a variety of industries. It has opened up a whole new world of uses for creative and expressive tasks instead of boring ones, like writing marketing Copywrites. ChatGPT also enables human-machine hybrid work where humans can guide and correct the AI's mistakes.
What is the battle for?
Reviewing the volume of searches made on search engines worldwide would provide greater clarity on the nature of this competition:
Google is the dominant search engine worldwide, with a market share ranging from 84-96%. As of June 2022, Google's global search engine market share was 91.88%. Baidu has a 75.54% market share in China, while in Russia, the search market is mainly divided between Google and Yandex. Additionally, more people use Google on mobile devices than on desktop computers, with a usage rate of 95% versus 85%. Google processes over 100,000 search queries per second, resulting in more than 8.5 billion daily searches. In 2021, Google's annual revenue was $257 billion, surpassing the $200 billion mark for the first time. While Bing receives over 1 billion monthly visits as of June 2022, despite having fewer users than Google. Bing's search advertising revenue in 2021 was $8.53 billion, a 10.2% increase from 2020.
In addition, the Digital Advertising Report 2022 predicts that the digital advertising sector will reach a value of US$1 trillion by 2027, with search advertising alone projected to grow by 46.8% by then. This is positive news for all NLP models.
Needless to say, the technology has allowed Microsoft to re-enter the long-running rivalry with Google. Microsoft's integration of OpenAI's ChatGPT into its Bing search results and the potential expectation to integrate the ChatGPT model into upcoming versions of its consumer and business offerings, including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Bing, give this company a very good competitive advantage over its rivals. In addition, other companies, including Baidu and C3.ai, are also planning to release AI bot services in the coming months.
In response to the 10 billion dollar Microsoft-OpenAI collaboration, Google's recent announcement of its #Bard service is to protect its market and remain the market leader for what Google is known for.
Bard is an experimental conversational AI service powered by Google's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), which combines information from the web to provide high-quality responses. Google is using external feedback and internal testing to ensure that Bard's responses meet a high standard for quality, safety, and groundedness in real-world information. Additionally, Google is working to bring the latest AI advancements, such as LaMDA, PaLM, Imagen, and MusicLM, into its products, starting with Search. Google also plans to onboard individual developers, creators, and enterprises to try its Generative Language API, which will make it easier for others to build more innovative applications with AI.
Who Will Win?
Alphabet is known for its innovative culture and agility, and there is no doubt Alphabet will fight back. Google has chosen to proceed cautiously when it comes to adding the technology behind LaMDA to products. AI Models trained on text scraped from the web are prone to exhibiting racial and gender biases and repeating hateful language. Those limitations were highlighted by Google researchers in a 2020 draft research paper arguing for caution with text generation technology that irked some executives and led to the company firing two prominent ethical AI researchers. Other Google researchers who worked on the technology behind LaMDA became frustrated by Google's hesitancy and left the company to build startups harnessing the same technology. The advent of ChatGPT appears to have inspired the company to accelerate its timeline for pushing text generation capabilities into its products.
It is worthy of mention that Alphabet's CEO, Sundar Pichai, did not announce plans to integrate Bard into the search box that powers Google's profits. Instead, he showcased a novel and cautious use of the underlying AI technology to enhance conventional search. For questions for which there is no single agreed-upon answer, Google will synthesize a response that reflects differing opinions. Pichai also announced that Google plans to make the underlying technology available to developers through an API, as OpenAI is doing with ChatGPT, but did not offer a timeline.
While the process of transitioning to an AI-driven model is challenging for Alphabet and Microsoft, they both can build a greater focus on data and analytics into their organizations and redesign their operating models around an integrated, digital core. It is difficult to predict which of these two companies would be able to successfully develop such a huge chain of events into their business model in a very short time. it seems Microsoft has the clear upper hand and is better at communicating its game plan in this AI war. However, Alphabet has the data and, in fact, one of the biggest data sets out there.
The Disruptive innovation model suggests that innovations don’t catch on with mainstream customers until quality catches up to their standards. Alphabet's next goal is to create a more precise and accurate AI language model; otherwise, the ChatGPT will remain.