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ChatGPT – artificial intelligence. Microsoft and Google are fighting for market dominance

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Artificial intelligence-based solutions, similar to the already famous ChatGPT platform, can turn the current world of technology upside down. The Silicon Valley giants are up for a fierce battle, with billions of dollars at stake and getting the biggest slice of the tempting market pie. The business earthquake may turn out to be the most severe for the current leader, Google. However, it will not miss the smaller players either.

Google has been in control of the search engine market for a long time. Over the years, no one and nothing has been able to threaten the monopolistic market position of Alphabet’s flagship product. The child prodigy has made its parent company one of the largest companies in the world. In 2022, the company’s market capitalization exceeded $1.3 trillion.

However, nothing lasts forever, especially in the world of technology. Former market hegemons, such as Nokia or Kodak, found out about this painfully, whose activities were disrupted by new, revolutionary products and solutions to which the current leaders did not manage to adapt. Now, another high-profile innovation could completely change the rules of the game, but this time in the search engine market.

A new technological breakthrough

All thanks to the growing popularity of chatbots. In just two months, the ChatGPT application developed by OpenAI acquired as many as 100 million users. None of the applications, even Instagram, Facebook or TikTok, could boast of such a rapid pace of development.

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ChatGPT – 100 million users in 2 monthsPolish Economic Institute

Although the use of AI-based solutions in various products and services is nothing new, ordinary Internet users have never been able to interact with artificial intelligence in such an easy and intuitive way. The answers generated by the chat are deceptively similar to those that a human could give. With the machine you can have free and natural conversations on topics such as science, art or literature. The application can also write program code, an essay, a song or even a fragment of a novel. ChatGPT can also – although with not the best result – pass the final exam and the eighth-grader exam.

Code Red on Google

The existential threat to traditional search engines, however, lies in their ability to quickly synthesize information from the web. If necessary, artificial intelligence can clarify the issue and refer to the user’s previous messages. Therefore, many experts believe that this technology may in the near future displace search engines based on much less convenient indexing of websites, which are still popular today.

So it’s no wonder that Google’s competition smelled an opportunity of a lifetime in it. Another technological tycoon, Microsoft, threw down the gauntlet to Google. Although so far the search engine of the company founded by Bill Gates Bing had a trace share in the market, but soon – as the current managers are trying to convince – it is about to change. “The race begins today,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the product launch.

The announcements of a hitherto underestimated competitor must have caused confusion in Google’s management. Already after the premiere of the ChatGPT application, the company introduced “code red”, recognizing that it poses a threat to the search engine. After all, AI-based technology wants to be implemented by one of the largest companies in the world, which can invest billions of dollars in its improvement. Google’s answer is to be the Bard chatbot based on artificial intelligence. The tool is expected to be made available to users “in the coming weeks.”

“The market will change dramatically”

As experts associated with the technology market say in an interview with TVN24 Biznes, Google may lose much more in this war. – Until recently, Google had the entire market under its control, and now it dances as Microsoft plays it. I think that Microsoft will be very happy to destroy the search engine market by introducing ChatGPT – predicts the COO of the Polish company providing services in the field of artificial intelligence SentiOne Bartosz Baziński.

In turn, the founder of the Digital University, Jowita Michalska, points out that “Microsoft’s business is much more diversified”. – Google has tried to introduce a whole lot of different additional products over the years. However, this model is still based mainly on the search engine and advertising business – he says. He adds that “in the backstage it is said that Google’s General AI technology is not yet as mature as OpenAI’s.”

The expert points out that such fierce competition in this market is a new phenomenon. – There has never been talk of great competitive fear in the context of technology companies. It has always been a kind of coopetition (a play on words – cooperation, cooperation and competition), i.e. something between cooperation and competition. It was never one of those attitudes. Today, after ChatGPT saw the light of day, this business model, especially Google’s, may be shaken in the future – the expert estimates.

According to Bartosz Baziński, “this market will change dramatically in the coming years.” Despite what it might seem, Google does not remain in a lost position. – Most of the technology that OpenAI and Microsoft are using to create a new assistant was actually developed by Google. So I think Google has a chance to defend its territory, he says.

Although the hierarchy may change, there is no hope of increasing competition in one of the most monopolized markets in the world. The new hand is unlikely to bring significant new players to the market. – I work with venture capitalists on a regular basis. Every day I hear about new investments, about tens of millions of dollars that go to new businesses that are supposed to fight for the use of this technology. Indeed, on the search engine market, there are these few players, and new ones do not appear. For now, it seems to me that it will be a fight between those who are – says Baziński.

The darker side

The technology that generates so much interest today also has its drawbacks. The possibilities of online chatbots may be perceived as impressive, but artificial intelligence, fed by imperfect data provided by humans, can – like us – simply be wrong. However, what ends up in a simple sense of embarrassment for a human can cost the tech giants billions of dollars.

“What new discoveries made with the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old child?” – this innocent question led to a drop in Google shares by almost 8%, which translated into a loss of the company’s value by USD 100 billion. The virtual assistant answered incorrectly that one of the achievements of the Webb telescope was to take the first ever image of a planet outside the solar system. The information was corrected on social media by the scientist Bruce Macintosh, who did it 14 years before the appearance of this telescope.

On the other hand, the chatbot supported by Microsoft happened to be rude and even offensive. During a conversation with an AP journalist, the AI ​​compared him to Hitler and found him short, with an ugly face and crooked teeth. “You’re like Hitler because you’re one of the worst people in history,” thundered the chatbot, apparently offended by the editor’s earlier remarks about his incorrect answers.

However, the consequences of unverified AI messages can be much more serious. – Already now, giving ChatGPT or other assistant certain phrases, such as “I’m depressed”, we can get, for example, the answer that “everything is pointless”. So we are able to find phrases that generate content that is dangerous. This is the thing that could potentially stem the current wave of technology development. This is already a problem for Microsoft, which limits access to this new version of the search engine with a built-in assistant – says Bartosz Baziński.

The earthquake will also affect the smaller ones

A business earthquake may also affect other companies and employees whose presence in search engines is one of the pillars of their activity. Bartosz Baziński points to the creators of text materials as part of the so-called content marketing, whose main goal is to position the content well. – . When search engines disappear, a lot of such people will have nothing to do and we will have to find additional work for them – he says.

“For online content producers, the changes could potentially be very big,” he says. It will be possible to ask a virtual assistant for information, and not by browsing through the pages suggested to us by the search engine. However, Baziński does not see the future in dark colors. – It’s not that people will lose their jobs, but that they will be more efficient, thanks to which they will be able to earn potentially more. For example, our salespeople generate customer messages using artificial intelligence, thanks to which they are able to contact more people each month – he explains.

Jowita Michalska also believes that it is more likely that technology will become our ally, not our enemy. – Of course, in such a 15-year perspective, however, we see that the development of technology is very fast, and some things and areas of our today’s competence will be replaced. But I think technology still creates more jobs than it takes away. Companies plan to move employees to other parts of the organization rather than lay them off due to the development of technology, he notes.

However, not everyone will be able to take advantage of the opportunity equally, due to the very high costs associated with providing very large computing power for such systems. – Developed economies that have access to capital and can buy appropriate servers will be able to use such artificial intelligence and work significantly faster – he says.

However, he points out that “ordinary people, especially in poorer countries, will have a big problem keeping up with the pace and staying competitive in a globalized economy.” “So you can say that ChatGPT and such solutions will cause even greater stratification, because workers from poorer countries will not be able to use such a helpful tool,” he predicts.

Prepare for changes

What is certain is that everyone will have to prepare for the changes. The biggest ones will certainly concern the business itself. – I believe that we live in interesting times. If even Big Tech is threatened by such external interference, what are traditional organizations to say. For me, this is an argument in the discussion with entrepreneurs who still believe that the world will look the way it does – says Jowita Michalska.

The expert emphasizes that “everyone is in some way at risk and everyone needs to plan their future and digital transformation.”

– We do not know the day or the hour when something will appear that can completely destroy the business model overnight and destroy the current market – he concludes.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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