Facing renewed competition from Microsoft and OpenAI, Google is reportedly “racing” to build a “brand new” AI-powered search engine. According The New York Times, the company is in the early stages of creating a search service that will try to anticipate what you want from it in the hopes of delivering “a much more personalized experience.” The project “does not have a clear schedule.” Knowing though, Google is also developing a suite of new AI features for its existing search engine under the codename “Magi”.
Among the features Google is developing is a chatbot that can answer software engineering questions and generate code snippets. The company also experimented with a feature that would allow people to search for music through a chatbot conversation. According The timesthe company has dedicated more than 160 employees to the redesign.
Other new additions “in various stages of development” include a Chrome feature called “Searchalong.” It would allow a chatbot to scan the web page you are reading to offer contextual information. For example, if you were looking for a place to stay on Airbnb, you could ask the chatbot to tell you what to see and do near your planned accommodation. “GIFI” and “Tivoli Tutor,” another pair of experimental features, would allow users to ask Google Image Search to generate images and converse with a chatbot to learn a new language. It’s worth noting that many of these are features that Google has demonstrated in the past or exist on other platforms like Duolingo. For example, imaging is already available in Slides.
Google reportedly plans to announce Magi next month before introducing additional new features sometime in the fall. That timing suggests the project will appear at I/O 2023. The company plans to bring Magi’s features to one million people in the US before expanding availability to 30 million users by the end of the year.
“We’ve spent years incorporating AI into Google Search to not only dramatically improve the quality of our results, but also to introduce entirely new forms of search, like Lens and multiple search,” a Google spokesperson told Engadget when asked about the search. The report. “We have done it in a responsible and helpful way that upholds the high bar we set for quality information. Not every brainstorming deck or product idea leads to a release, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited to bring new AI-powered features to Search, and we’ll share more details soon.”
Underlining Magi’s importance to Google, Samsung reportedly told the company last month that it was considering making Bing the default search on its devices. The statement reportedly sent Google into a “panic.” The company’s search deal with Samsung is worth about $3 billion annually. This year, his lucrative search agreement with Apple, the subject of frequent antitrust scrutiny, will also be renewed.
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