Google Revolution? Search, Maps, and AI Take Center Stage at February 8th Live Event
Google plans to hold an event on February 8, 2023, called Live from Paris, where it will share information about several of its core products, including Search and Maps.
The event will be streamed live on YouTube at 8:30 AM ET (which is 14:30 CET). The event description, as short as it may be, highlights that the event's focus is on the company's core products Search and Maps.
We're reimagining how people search for, explore and interact with information, making it more natural and intuitive than ever before to find what you need. Join us to learn how we're opening up greater access to information for people everywhere, through Search, Maps and beyond.
The thumbnail that Google uses for the event features other Google products. References to Google Lens, Shopping, and Translate are found on it.
While not mentioned explicitly by Google, it is expected that Google will unveil its plans on integrating Artificial Intelligence technology into its products. Microsoft started to test an integration of ChatGPT, a popular language mode optimized for dialogue, in its Bing Search engine recently.
ChatGPT could become a serious threat to Google's dominance in search. Google Search has usage shares of over 90% in many regions of the world, both on desktop and on mobile. Microsoft Bing, second in search globally, has a usage share of less than 10% in most regions.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has gradually reduced its dependence on advertising revenue, but advertising still makes up almost 80% of the company's total revenue. Advertising is heavily dependent on Google Search, which contributes more than 50% to the total revenue, as well as YouTube and Google Network ads.
Google Core Read and Google's LaMDA response
Any threat to Google's core search business is taken seriously by the company because of that. It is no surprise that Google CEO Sundar Pichai declared a "code red" regarding the rise of artificial intelligence in competing search products.
Pichai revealed in Google's latest earnings call that the company had big plans for artificial intelligence, which it would reveal in the coming months. While Pichai did not provide any details on Google's plans during the call, he stated that Internet users would be able to use its "newest, most powerful language models as a companion to search".
One of the first products could be a ChatGPT competitor by the company's LaMDA team. LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications, is built on Transformer, a "neural network architecture that Google Research invented and open-sourced in 2017". Like ChatGPT, LaMDA is trained specifically for dialogue.
Whether the event will indeed be about AI integration in Google core products, or just a teaser of things to come later in 2023 or 2024, remains to be seen.
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