Google's core search business faces its most significant challenge in 25 years as A.I.-powered competitors like Microsoft's Bing emerge on the scene. In response, the tech giant is working on an entirely new search engine powered by artificial intelligence and upgrading the existing one with innovative A.I. features under the project name Magi.
The New York Times reports that Google's reaction to the possibility of Samsung replacing its search engine with Microsoft's Bing on its devices was one of "panic." With reportedly 3 billion of dollars in annual revenue on the line, Google has begun an ambitious plan to revamp its search engine and maintain its dominance in the market.
This news comes as Microsoft has steadily made progress and gained momentum since the release of the New Bing, Bing Image Create and a slew of other generative AI tools over the last month. A.I.-powered chatbots like ChatGPT from OpenAI have demonstrated capabilities that could upend the economics of the internet, prompting companies like Google to take notice. Google's project Magi aims to provide a more personalized and conversational search experience, with plans to release new features to the public as early as next month.
The proposed changes could impact users globally, as Google's search engine is one of the most widely used web pages in the world. Alongside the development of a radically new search engine, the Magi project will add features to the existing one, keeping ads in the mix of search results to maintain Google's primary revenue source.
While the new search engine is still in its early stages with no definite timeline, Google has over 160 people working full-time on the Magi project. The company plans to release the new features to a limited number of users in the United States initially, with a progressive increase throughout the year.
In addition to Magi, Google is exploring other A.I.-powered product ideas, such as GIFI for generating images in Google Image results, Tivoli Tutor for teaching users new languages, and Searchalong for assisting users while surfing the web through Google's Chrome browser.
As Google races to convince users of its "powerful, competent, and contemporary" capabilities, it faces the challenge of maintaining its leading position in the rapidly evolving world of search engines and artificial intelligence.