(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google on Wednesday is expected to unveil more artificial intelligence in its products to answer the latest competition from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), which has threatened its perch atop the nearly $300-billion search advertising market.
Through an internal project code-named Magi, Google has looked to infuse its namesake engine with generative artificial intelligence, technology that can answer questions with human-like prose and derive new content from past data.
The effort will be the most closely watched as Google executives take the stage at its yearly conference I/O in Mountain View, California, near its headquarters. The result could alter how consumers access the world’s information and which company wins the global market for search advertising, estimated by research firm MAGNA to be $286 billion this year.
For years the top portal to the internet, Google has found its position in question since rivals began exploiting generative AI as an alternative way to present content from the web.
First came ChatGPT, the chatbot from Microsoft-backed OpenAI that industry observers called Google’s disruptor. Next came Bing, Microsoft’s search engine updated with a similarly dextrous chatbot, which can answer queries where no obvious result existed online — like what car seat to buy for a particular model vehicle.
Microsoft last month touted U.S. share gains for Bing, recently growing to more than 100 million daily active users, still dwarfed by billions of searches on Google.
Google’s rivals have taken its research breakthroughs from prior years and run with them, outpacing their inventor. That has represented a technological affront and a business one: Microsoft said every percentage point of share it gained in search advertising could draw another $2 billion in revenue.
For months now, teams at Google have sprinted to release technology at I/O or prior, like its ChatGPT competitor Bard, defending the company’s turf.
Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s chief executive, this year said generative AI to distill complex queries would come to Google Search, as would more perspectives, “like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar.”
Google is also seeking to restate its research mantle. At Wednesday’s conference, it is expected to announce a more powerful AI model known as PaLM 2, CNBC reported.
It is also expected to showcase new hardware for its lineup of Pixel devices, media have reported.