The Impact of AI on the Web is Growing

Despite the huge advances that technology has made in recent years, we rarely see a week as disruptive as this one.

When your grandkids ask you where you were when AI took over, you’ll be thinking about February 2023.

ChatGPT Go ‘Pro’

At first, we felt a great disturbance in AI, as if millions of chatbots were crying in horror and suddenly fell silent. ChatGPT has reached capacity.

ChatGPT is one of the best AI tools available, and so far, it’s free to use, which has fueled an AI gold rush – transforming ProductHunt in weeks into a list of ‘trusted’ chatbots. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is a commercial company and has chosen to release a premium account for ChatGPT that provides priority access for $20/month.

In addition to plans to remove thousands of indy developers, there are ethical questions about AI trained on other people’s content, questions that were less pressing when access was free.

Bing loves Google Chat

Google has been the leader in search for a long time. Its main strength is the jealously guarded algorithm.

When Microsoft – no stranger to monopolies – launched Bing, there was speculation that Google would lose its dominance. But the move from Google didn’t really happen.

So the Bing product team went back to the drawing board to find a way to beat Google’s algorithm. The solution they came up with was Bing Chat, a chat bot that would answer, as well as return search results, the question in a simple statement that was examined from the most credible results.

Bing Chat is powered by ChatGPT – Microsoft is probably paying $20/month for priority access.

The transition from search engines directing users to site-hosted results to search engines accepting, rewriting, and presenting answers as their own will make the fuss over AMP insignificant.

Google Gets Bard Wrong

Google was so horrified by Bing Chat that it rushed out a preview of Bard, its own AI-powered service.

Google is generally regarded as one of the leading lights in AI research, so if it’s taken aback when AI search integration is possible someone must have pressed the send button too soon.

In a preview video intended to take the wind out of Microsoft’s launch, Bard was asked, “What new discoveries from the James Webb space telescope can I tell my nine-year-old?” The response from Bard said that JWST took the first pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system. However, those first photos were taken in 2004, 17 years before the JWST was launched.

And just like that, $100 billion (Google’s parent company) was wiped off Alphabet’s share price.

As Google spokespeople were quick to point out, Bard is still being tested and will be much more powerful when using the full version of LaMDA. But the error highlights one of the biggest problems with AI content: It’s not only very inaccurate but also very persistent, making errors hard to spot.

What’s Next?

The rivalry between Google Bard and Microsoft Bing leaves us on the verge of another great technology race. Bing won the first round, but somewhere in The Googleplex, an audit is underway to ensure that no more ground is lost. And this is all before the rumored Apple iSearch installed by default on millions of iPhones.

There are so many ethical, technical and cultural questions about AI that it is impossible to know where this is.

One thing is certain: something changed this week. We have seen the first exchanges in a competition that will change the web in the next decade.


Image by GarryKillian on Freepik

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