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Google CEO promises new AI features are coming to search ‘very soon’ amid competition from ChatGPT


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 22, 2020.Fabrice COFFRINI | AFP | Getty ImagesAlphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Thursday that the company will soon add advanced AI features to its search engine.On Tuesday, CNBC reported that Google is testing some of these features with employees as part of a “code red” plan to respond to ChatGPT, the popular chatbot backed in part by Microsoft. They include a chatbot called “Apprentice Bard,” as well as new search desktop designs that could be used in a question-and-answer format. “Very soon, people will be able to interact directly with our newest, most powerful language model as a companion to Search, in experimental and innovative ways,” he said, referring to Google’s conversation technology LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications.Pichai said that it will release the large language model “in the coming weeks and months” so the company can get more feedback.Executives frequently returned to the subject of artificial intelligence on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “AI is the most profound technology we are working on today,” Pichai said in his opening remarks.The effort to direct attention to AI comes as the company faces pressure on its core advertising business and a competitive threat from one of its historic archrivals.Thursday’s earnings report marked the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company missed Wall Street’s expectations for both earnings and revenue, according to expectation estimates provided by Refinitiv. Weakness in the advertising business appeared in an 8% revenue decline in YouTube’s advertising revenue and a 2% fall in Google’s Search and Other revenue.Google is also facing pressure from ChatGPT, which was launched late last year by Microsoft-backe …

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