During its quarterly earnings call on Thursday, Google sought to assure investors and analysts that it remains a leader in AI development. The Q4 2022 results were highly anticipated as the tech industry and investors awaited Google's response to the growing popularity of OpenAI's ChatGPT, which has the potential to pose a threat to its core business.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke about the company's plans to make AI-based large language models (LLMs), such as LaMDA, available in the near future. He stated that users will soon be able to use LLMs as a companion to search. LLMs, like ChatGPT, are deep learning algorithms that can recognize, summarize, and generate text and other content based on massive amounts of text data. Pichai highlighted that the models soon to be available are especially adept at composing, constructing, and summarizing.
Pichai stated that the integration of direct large language model (LLM) experiences in Search opens up opportunities to serve new types of generative use cases. He views this as a chance to reevaluate and enhance Search to meet more user needs. He added that it is still early days, but Google plans to be bold in its efforts, gather feedback, and continuously improve.
During Google's quarterly earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai reassured investors and analysts of the company's continued leadership in AI development despite the growing popularity of OpenAI's ChatGPT. This comes as Microsoft is reportedly working on incorporating a faster version of ChatGPT into Bing, aiming to make its search engine more competitive with Google. To combat the potential threat, Pichai warned that the technology will need to be scaled slowly, as it is still in its early stages. The company is approaching AI development with caution, as it plans to launch beta features before slowly scaling up. Pichai also emphasized that Google is developing AI with a deep sense of responsibility. This statement was made following a report of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin having meetings with executives to strategize on the company's AI plans.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai emphasized the company's commitment to AI during a quarterly earnings call. He mentioned plans to offer AI-powered large language models (LLMs) to users as a companion to search and provide new tools and APIs for developers and partners to create their own applications. Starting in 2023, Google's DeepMind AI segment will be reported as part of Alphabet's corporate costs, signaling the company's seriousness about investing in AI. CFO Ruth Porat said the change in reporting structure reflects the focus to support each segment.
Google has scheduled a Search and AI event for February 8 to demonstrate how the company is using artificial intelligence to enhance the search experience. The event aims to showcase how AI can make it more convenient and easier for users to find information. The invitation mentions Google Maps, Lens, Shopping, and Translate, fueling speculation about what updates the tech giant will announce.
Typically, Google provides updates about these products during its May I/O conference, making the upcoming event noteworthy. Given its proximity, it appears that Google is taking a proactive approach to address any potential threats to its core business and reassuring investors that it remains an "AI-first" company.
"Pichai emphasized Google's commitment to AI during the earnings call, stating, "AI is the most profound technology we're working on today. With our talented researchers, infrastructure, and technology, we are well-positioned for the growth of AI. We've been a leader in AI development since I first spoke about Google being an AI-first company over six years ago. We're only at the beginning of our AI journey, and the best is yet to come."
Google's recent investment of $300 million in AI start-up Anthropic further highlights the company's focus on AI. The investment, confirmed by Google, values the San Francisco-based company at around $5 billion and its AI model Claude is seen as a rival to ChatGPT. The announcement follows Microsoft's recent multi-billion-dollar investment in OpenAI."
During the call, Pichai emphasized that Google has been investing in AI for several years. Despite this, the company has not made many significant advancements in AI publicly. For example, the company has the AI Playground app which had the potential to be like ChatGPT but was deliberately limited. At I/O last year, Google also introduced an AI language model called PaLM, but has not yet shared its plans for the model or how it will be utilized. Despite Google's assurances, investors are closely observing the company's response to the potential threat posed by ChatGPT. Although Alphabet's shares opened lower after a disappointing 4th quarter earnings report, the company recovered all losses by midday.
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