Google search may feature a ChatGPT rival after all

Pixel 7 Pro with Google search
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Future)

What you need to know

  • Google's founders recently met with company executives to discuss OpenAI's ChatGPT and AI.
  • The immergence of ChatGPT has reportedly led Google to change plans and work to integrate AI into more services.
  • The meeting included approval to integrate chatbot features into Google's search engine, according to the New York Times.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met with company executives to discuss ChatGPT, the popular chatbot that's dominated tech headlines since its launch late in 2022. A report by The New York Times broke down the meetings and how much OpenAI's chatbot has changed discussions within Google's inner circle.

Citing two people with knowledge of the meetings that remained anonymous, The New York Times explained that Google CEO Sundar Pichai invited Page and Brin to meet on the topic of AI. The company founders stepped back from daily roles at Google in 2019, though they still check in on Alphabet's "Other Bet" projects.

The founders reportedly approved plans to include chatbot features in Google's search engine and shared advice with current company leadership.

Artificial intelligence is not new but ChatGPT's rapid rise in popularity has caused ripple effects throughout the industry. Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019. While it's not clear if plans will be followed through, reports claimed that Microsoft could purchase as much as 49% of OpenAI through a $10 billion investment.

ChatGPT, and other AI tools, have inherent risks. They are prone to bias, can be easily fooled, and their value depends on the source of their information. They also have a human cost. All of those can cause reasonable concerns about implementing AI into search engines. That being said, if issues can be identified and solved, ChatGPT could be used to reinvigorate Microsoft's Bing.

Microsoft reportedly has plans to add ChatGPT to both Office and Bing. The company's CEO Satya Nadella recently said that AI will be built into all of Microsoft's products at some point.

ChatGPT has reportedly sparked concern at Google, leading the company to change its plans. Google has 20 AI products in the work and wants to release a search engine with chatbot functionality, according to the New York Times.

“This is a moment of significant vulnerability for Google,” said former Google research director D. Sivakumar to the New York Times. “ChatGPT has put a stake in the ground, saying, ‘Here’s what a compelling new search experience could look like.’”

Google has a history with AI, and it seems keen to regain the edge within the space. Our Editor-in-Chief recently spoke with Android Central about how OpenAI's chatbot could ultimately be helpful to Google.

“We continue to test our A.I. technology internally to make sure it’s helpful and safe, and we look forward to sharing more experiences externally soon," said Google spokesperson Lily Lin to the New York Times.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).