Google is encountering challenges in keeping pace with OpenAI. Sources informed The Information on Thursday that Google’s alternative to ChatGPT won’t be available until early 2024, despite earlier assurances to some cloud customers that they would have access to Gemini AI by November of the current year.
Although Google Brain and Google Deepmind have been immersed in artificial intelligence since the early 2010s, the tech giant appears to have missed the 2023 hype surrounding conversational AI software. Initially anticipated to debut in 2023 with image and voice recognition capabilities, Google’s Gemini was poised to compete with OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Anthropic’s Claude 2.
Earlier this year, Google released Bard, which bears similarities to ChatGPT but is notably constrained. According to Google’s DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, Gemini is positioned to be the genuine competitor to ChatGPT, employing unique methodologies such as reinforcement learning and tree search for enhanced capabilities.
Once boasting an unparalleled team in the AI realm, Google has faced challenges retaining its dominance due to a series of departures. Departures include the notable exit of the “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton in May, who advocated for regulation. In 2018, a group of executives collectively resigned over Google’s involvement in a controversial military program.
Keeping up with ChatGPT has proven increasingly difficult for Google, particularly with OpenAI’s recent updates allowing users to upload entire 300-page books and the impending launch of the GPT store. An internal document leaked this year from a senior software engineer suggested that Google lacks the “secret sauce” needed to win the AI arms race.
In the midst of Google’s challenges in developing Gemini, the company has invested billions in a more promising competitor to ChatGPT, Anthropic.
The struggle to develop a chatbot at Google reflects a deeper existential question: could generative AI eventually surpass search engines, Google’s core business?
While Google has integrated conversational AI into its search engine, possibly as a preliminary step before building its flagship chatbot, ChatGPT’s ability to provide concise answers from the internet in ways that better serve user needs may be posing a strategic challenge for Google. The company might still be grappling with how to incorporate ads into Gemini’s responses.