Will ChatGPT disrupt Google?

ChatGPT took 5 days to clear the magic hurdle of one million users. Since then, it has been the hype par excellence, and many users are already comparing it to Google Search in its early days. Some go even further and predict that ChatGPT could even displace Google Search.

You may be sitting in your chair right now thinking: what the heck is ChatGPT?

Let’s take a quick look at that first.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a chat tool that enables human-like interaction with a pre-trained Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is free to use after registration.

OpenAI is behind the tool, a leading research institute focused on developing advanced technologies in the field of artificial intelligence.

OpenAI is based in San Francisco, California, and was founded in 2015 by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, among others.

GPT in the name refers to GPT3, which stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer. The technology behind it is a large language model that is trained by OpenAI with the goal of providing general information and answers to questions based on training data.

What are the Use Cases?

Now that we know roughly what ChatGPT is, we should urgently look at what you can do with it. Shortly, there are virtually no limits.

Besides medical questions maybe, where the AI is cautious. Nevertheless, with the right wording, you get very comprehensive answers here, too. Which have helped me a lot, at least.

Here come a few examples across the board to give you a better feel for the possibilities.

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Could ChatGPT disrupt Google?

As I mentioned at the beginning, these possibilities make many people wonder if ChatGPT could even herald the end of Google Search.

Personally, I find this question very difficult to answer. On the one hand, I find the quality of ChatGPT very impressive, and I can well imagine that many people will prefer this type of interaction in the future.

But then what should prevent a company like Alphabet from simply adopting it.

This poses the technical question of how much effort it takes to get a similar result. I asked ChatGPT itself about this.

As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I do not have a specific amount of effort that can be attributed to me. I was trained using a machine learning algorithm on a massive dataset of text, which required a significant amount of computational resources and time. However, my abilities and knowledge are a product of this training process, rather than any specific effort that was put into me directly.

ChatGPT on the question: How many effort did OpenAI put in you?

But aside from feasibility, the question is whether OpenAI wants to productize ChatGPT at all. After all, OpenAI LP is managed by the OpenAI non-profit umbrella organization.

In this context, scaling will be critical.

Scaling ChatGPT up will be interesting, as there are already millions of users. But what if there are billions? According to Sam Altman, the cost per chat is in the single-digit cent range. Currently, as a guess $5M per month?

Therefore I see three potential scenarios in the near future:

  1. Access to ChatGPT will be restricted again
  2. ChatGPT will become a paid service in some sort
  3. ChatGPT introduces Ads for monetization

In my opinion, all three scenarios have some stumbling blocks along the way to really attack Google Search and turn a profit in the process.

Nevertheless, it is quite possible that ChatGPT will also gain some market share in a hurry.

By the way, DALL·E (openai.com), the AI artist who generated the cover image for this article, is also at home under the OpenAI umbrella.

What do you think of ChatGPT? Let me know here or on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Dall – E

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