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LONDON: Google search is in peril, some think. The ubiquitous search engine, which has been the gateway to the internet for billions of people around the world over the past two decades, faces “existential threats”, they say, that compel the management of parent company Alphabet to declare a “red code”.

“Google may only be a year or two away from total disruption,” Paul Buchheit, a Gmail developer, wrote in a Twitter post this month. “(Artificial intelligence) will eliminate the search engine results page, where they make the most money.”

Buchheit went on to predict that AI could transform and replace the internet search industry in much the same way that Google effectively destroyed the once-successful Yellow Pages model of print business telephone directories, which had flourished for many decades.

AI and chatbot services such as ChatGPT are already beginning to revolutionize the way people search online by providing users with an unprecedented level of convenience and speed.

Unlike traditional search engines, which rely on keyword matching to deliver results, AI chatbots use advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to understand the deeper intent behind a user’s query.

As a result, ChatGPT is able to answer more complex requests, create simple codes, solve difficult problems and chat in a relatively human way. Contrast that with Google, which can only provide users with the links and tools they need to do detailed research on their own.

Because results are displayed in real time and more accurately reflect what is actually requested, natural language processing services such as ChatGPT provide access to all the information users need, through a conversational AI interface. , in a fraction of the time it would take them to find it manually.

In other words, as many experts were quick to point out, ChatGPT does a lot of things similar to Google, only better.

Google is one of many companies, research centers and experts who have contributed to the development of ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. It is a revolutionary collaborative project led by a research lab called OpenAI, which is also behind DALL-E, an AI-powered system that generates images from natural language descriptions provided by a user.

Although Google’s own search engine is already harnessing the power of AI in an effort to improve the service it provides and deliver more relevant results to users, some experts believe the tech giant may have struggling to compete with newer small businesses developing these AI chatbots because of the many ways the technology could harm its existing business model.

In April, the Technology Innovation Institute, a cutting-edge research center in Abu Dhabi, unveiled a service similar to ChatGPT, called Noor. The largest natural language processing model in the Arabic language to date, it aims to provide the Arab region with a competitive advantage in the field, as technologies such as chatbots, market intelligence and machine translation have traditionally tended to significantly favor English and Chinese language markets.

Last year, Google Search and other web-based Google properties, which span many countries and languages, generated $149 billion in revenue. The disruptive power of services such as ChatGPT and Noor could therefore represent a blow to Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and its business model.

“The potential for something like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to eventually supplant a search engine like Google isn’t a new idea, but this delivery of OpenAI’s underlying technology is the closest approximation yet. of how it would actually work in a fully fleshed out system, and he should be afraid of Google,” TechCrunch US editor Darrell Etherington wrote this month.

However, it is still in its infancy and, as Jacob Carpenter points out, “the idea of ​​fledgling artificial intelligence companies supplanting Google seems premature” given that Alphabet can call upon its significant resources. to help weed out any potential competition.

ChatGPT, described as the most advanced AI chatbot on the market, is available in multiple regions and supports a variety of languages, including Arabic. However, despite the enormous advances it undoubtedly represents, limits remain.

In its current form, ChatGPT is not able to access the Internet or other external sources of information, which means it cannot respond or provide geo-based recommendations.

Additionally, its model’s training data only goes through 2021, so the program often comes up with incorrect or biased answers, which means the service, at least for now, is not a reliable source of information.

While the buzz generated by ChatGPT and Noor is likely to attract users and investors, which will help the technology grow further, significant skepticism remains as to whether these AI chatbots will ever be able to do to Google Search what Google Search pointed to the Yellow Pages. .

Despite all the lofty claims by some experts about the potential of advanced language models – and while it’s important to recognize that they offer distinct benefits, enhanced capabilities, and a different user experience from existing Google services that have the potential to revolutionize the way we search for things on the web – it’s also important to know that even the developers of ChatGPT have stated that the technology “is not a direct competitor to Google Search and is not likely to replace it “.

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