Nowadays, when you search for something on the internet, you will most likely come across a long list of links. Despite having implemented some tweaks that try to answer questions related to the user’s query (such as the Google of “people also ask”), the user experience has been basically the same for several years.
However, new artificial intelligence tools developed by Microsoft and Google could be about to revolutionize the way people search for information on the internet. This is a really important change.
In a publication made this Monday, the CEO of Alphabet, sundar pichai, laid out its intention to bring Google’s new AI technology, LaMDA, to its search engine. This Tuesday, Satya NadellaCEO of Microsoft, presented the artificial intelligence version of his Bing search engine, which has been powered by ChatGPT and its GPT-3.5 technology.
The new Bing and the new Google are going to offer conversational answers to complex questions. The link lists will still be there, but they may soon be unnecessary.
Improved search engines from Google and Microsoft aim to get to the heart of the matter, the information people really want to know when they search the Internet, by allowing users to ask questions in their own words—rather than trying to guess which combination of words keywords might be the right one—and receive an answer in a digestible format.
For example, Pichai used a specific question to illustrate this process in the statement he issued on Monday: “Is it easier to learn to play the piano or the guitar and how much practice is needed in each case?” It is not the type of question that is usually asked to a search engine, but the CEO of Google did not get the answer that the search engine usually offers either.
“It’s going to be a lot more like asking a personal assistant to do something for you,” he explains to Business Insider the director of artificial intelligence research at The Alan Turing Institute, Michael Wooldridge. These new seekers”should understand the nuances of the question and the context in which you do it,” adds Wooldridge.
The head of data science at the Springbok AI consultancy, Benedikt Schönhense, says that, most likely, it is that the searches will be much more intuitive, with an experience “much more similar to a natural conversation.”
The CEO of Microsoft, declared this Tuesday before the media that online searches driven by AI mean “a new paradigm” for the sector. “A new competition begins, with a completely new technological platform,” said Nadella.
In fact, since OpenAI —a company promoted by Microsoft— launched its artificial intelligence text generator at the end of last November, Google has wanted to show that it is not going to be left behind.
Even so, this new format of conversational searches has its risks and its disadvantages. These new tools get their answers from the internet in general and the information that is available on the internet is not always accurate (to say the least).
If an AI-powered search engine confidently answers a sensitive question using erroneous or inaccurate information (as ChatGPT has shown to do), there is a risk that search, the foundation of human interaction on the internet, will be a mistake. huge source of misinformation.
The founder and principal investigator of the Institute of Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Montreal, Abhishek Gupta, points out that this change in the way of searching the Internet could cause a “discontinuity in the search experience” for users accustomed to browsing and taking their own decisions.
Instead, they will be “told” Which is the right answer”, raising the expectation that the artificial intelligence interface will “provide a well thought out and elaborate answer” to your query. “The problem of misinformation is going to get bigger and bigger,” Gupta says. “Users will need to improve their media and digital literacy skills to combat it.”