Google’s not so hot on ChatGPT

In recent days, the internet has been filled with clamour about ChatGPT (OpenAI’s wildly popular answer-generating AI chatbot) and how it could one day take on Google Search

Google has now responded by telling everyone to take a serious chill pill. 

Catch up: In a recent meeting, a Google employee asked the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai and Head of AI Jeff Dean whether the success of ChatGPT represented a missed opportunity for Google—since the company also has an AI chatbot with similar capabilities. 

  • The bot in question, LaMDA, is in fact so advanced that it made headlines earlier this year when an ex-Google engineer claimed it was sentient (which, just FYI, isn’t true).

In response, Pichai and Dean said Google—you know, the place where basically everyone on the planet gets their information—can’t just willy-nilly release LaMDA into the wild (like a startup can) because of the “reputational risk” the technology poses.

  • “We are absolutely looking to get these things out into real products,” Dean said, “but, it’s super important we get this right.”

To be fair, OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman agrees. He tweeted, "ChatGPT is incredibly limited but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness.”

Bottom line: It's fun to fantasize about new tech taking on traditional big players, but it’s easier tweeted than done. Like driverless cars or quantum computing, a lot needs to happen before a promising test can be rolled out at full-scale. AI chatbots can still be trickedbiased, and spit out wrong information—so it's unlikely they will compete with Search anytime soon.