Chat GPT: Is Google Search Business dominance challenged?

David Gomez
March 17, 2023
minute read
The ChatGPT vs Google saga

In this article:

In the IT sector, staying ahead of the curve is vital. And when it comes to search technology, one company has long been the gold standard: Google. But with the recent rise of powerful language models like Chat GPT, is Google's dominance in the search industry truly safe?

Let's start with the basics. Google's search algorithm is built on a complex indexing system, ranking websites based on relevance, authority, and user engagement. However, as more and more of our interactions with the internet happen through natural language, the limitations of Google's keyword-based search become more apparent.

Enter ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI. This language model is trained on a massive dataset of text scraped from the internet, allowing it to understand, make sense and respond to natural language queries with unprecedented accuracy. It can also explain concepts in ways people can easily understand and generate ideas from scratch, including business strategies and blog topics, making it a handy solution for businesses.

Of course, ChatGPT is still a demo with many limitations, but is it really too soon to say that Chat GPT will replace Google Search dominance? At least we will have to wait until GPT-4 is launched with over 100 trillion parameters (expected in early 2023). In the meantime, let's examine the current limitations of AI-powered search engines.

Limitations in Training Data and Bias Issues

AI-powered search engines, like ChatGPT, work by learning patterns from a massive amount of data. But the data used to train these models is biased. In that case, it can lead to inaccurate results and perpetuate societal biases. For example, consider the data only represents a particular group of people or certain types of information. In that case, the model will likely give those groups more importance. Also, suppose the data is not diverse enough. In that case, the model may not handle new inputs or perform well on different tasks. Sound, unbiased, and diverse data is crucial for the model to generalize and provide accurate results.


One of the main limitations of ChatGPT technology when it comes to sustainability is its high computational power requirements. Suppose you add that once the model is trained, it requires powerful hardware to operate. In that case, it becomes evident that running ChatGPT is highly expensive and with elevated energy consumption. So, while ChatGPT is incredibly powerful, it's important to be aware of its impact on the environment and work to reduce it through energy-efficient methods. 

Data privacy

One of the most critical limitations of both ChatGPT and Google Search engines is data privacy. ChatGPT models are trained on large amounts of data, which may contain sensitive personal information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and financial information. On the other hand, Google Search collects data about user's search queries, browsing history, and location, which can be used to personalize search results and target ads. This data can be vulnerable to hacking, data breaches, and other forms of unauthorized access, just like ChatGPT data. 

Therefore both technologies have the challenge of ensuring the privacy and security of this data with the implementation of robust data protection measures, such as encryption, access controls, and monitoring. 

So what does this mean for Google's search business? 

In short, it's not looking good. As users realize the benefits of natural language search and shift away from traditional keyword-based queries, Google's search results will likely become less relevant and useful. And if the company can't adapt quickly, it could significantly decline in usage and revenue.

Is it all "doom and gloom" for Google? Google has always been known for its innovation and willingness to adapt. As they announced last May, they have worked for several years in their natural language processing search with laMDA. Remember that LaMDA was at the center of a controversy a few months ago when a Google engineer claimed that he believed it had a conscience. 

 Like many recent language models, including BERT and GPT-3, LaMDA is built on Transformer, a neural network architecture that Google Research invented and open-sourced in 2017. And LaMDA's s conversational skills have been years in the making. But, as they mentioned, this technology will be out of the lab once they succeed by achieving some gold standards regarding sensibleness, specificity, and factuality. But also until they can guarantee that it won't propagate misuse — for instance, by internalizing biases, mirroring hateful speech, or replicating misleading information. 

However, the Open AI bold move turned the alarms at Google's headquarters, and they announced that they are working hard on a chatbot that will feed on Google Search. It will arrive as soon as this year in a test version. And I won't do it alone. At the classic developer conference in May, Google could also introduce an image generator called Image Generation Studio and a new generation of AI Test Kitchen; this tool feeds on user interactions to improve LaMDA capabilities. 

It is an interesting dispute between two models: Launch fast and improve faster, or hold the road and wait for better results. 

In conclusion, Google's search business may be hanging by a thread. Still, with its reputation for innovation, it has the potential to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. It is what we like to call "a developing story," so while we wait for another chapter, here is a hack to unleash the power of both tools 👇🏼

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