• Earlier this week, Microsoft showed off its new version of the search engine Bing and the browser Edge, both of which now use technology from OpenAI called ChatGPT.
• The markets have improved for Microsoft shares while Google stock has plummeted 8% due to a factual inaccuracy in an advertisement for a competitor’s artificial intelligence product, Bard.
Microsoft’s redesigned Bing search engine and Edge web browser have been released, with the big tech behemoth hailing the pair as the “AI copilot for the web.”
Tuesday, during a Microsoft HQ event, the first wave of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence capabilities were introduced, promising a revolution in how we search.
Investors have been dismayed by Google’s rushed answers, including a misleading advertisement for their competitor Bard and a lacklustre live event.
The two companies’ quick series of announcements have changed the story about who is the top dog in the tech industry and started the first big change in the industry in years.
Here is what transpired.
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What did Microsoft introduce?
Microsoft held a press conference in Seattle on Tuesday to say that its new search engine, Bing, and its browser, Edge, were both ready for artificial intelligence as of that day.
The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, was in great form: “It’s a new day for search, a new paradigm for search, and fast innovation is on the horizon,” he said.
Nadella was joined onstage by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman for the major unveiling.
Microsoft recently announced a multi-year, $10 billion agreement with the firm that developed ChatGPT, which surpassed 100 million subscribers in less than two months.
He stated that a portion of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model was included in Bing in order to give it the AI skills Microsoft desires in order to win over users.
Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, Yusuf Mehdi, stressed that Microsoft’s version for Bing and Edge is “far more powerful” than the standalone chatbot that sparked the AI tech wars.
Important new features include AI-summarized search results, an interactive discussion where you may improve your search, and a “creative spark” that gives AI-generated suggestions for your search query.
Before being asked to join the queue, users are only shown a handful of example searches.
You can get around the line if you make Bing your PC’s default browser and download the Bing app.(Pretty strange, given that Microsoft has been fined before for unfair competition, but hey, for once they’re the underdogs.)
What has been Google’s response?
As soon as ChatGPT came out, Google sent out an internal “code red,” moved whole teams to work on artificial intelligence, and last week announced that its AI competitor, Bard, would be coming out.
It appeared suspiciously as though the leading search engine business was scrambling for an answer.
All eyes were on the next announcement from Google, but it failed to impress.
Wednesday, at a YouTube live broadcast event in Paris, Google executives reiterated the published statement.
The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, was nowhere to be seen.
Many found the event to be unimpressive, especially in comparison to what Microsoft had organised.
Except for the fundamental inaccuracy in Bard’s Twitter promotional video, this would have been a case of shrugging shoulders.
The claim that the James Webb telescope was the first satellite to photograph a planet outside the Earth’s solar system was rapidly debunked by users.
We’re sure Microsoft is chuckling to themselves.
Microsoft and Google stocks on the rise?
On Wednesday, Microsoft shares reached a high of $273 but have since stabilised at $266.
Five Wall Street traders boosted Microsoft shares following their event, while others cautioned of a possible AI technology bubble.
The unusual error made by Google’s Twitter advertisement proved costly.
The shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, fell as much as 9 percent, or $100 billion, on Wednesday as investors feared the reigning search engine leader would lose its crown.
There is still a great deal of ambiguity over how different corporations will employ AI technology and who will emerge on top, but Microsoft now has the upper hand—and the attention of the stock market.
What is happening with search engines currently?
Google is the uncontested leader when it comes to search engines.
As of December 2022, it controlled close to 85 percent of the market.
However, fissures are beginning to appear.
In 2022, Google and Meta’s advertising campaign share dropped below 50% for the first time in eight years.
The US Department of Justice is also suing Google for its excessive dominance in the digital advertising market.
What does this matter?
The sharks are now circling.
Recent advertising from TikTok encourages users to conduct searches on the platform.
In July, the senior vice president of Google, Prabhakar Raghavan, stated that about 40 percent of Generation Z prefers TikTok and Instagram to traditional search engines.
Microsoft has observed all of this from a distance and positioned itself accordingly.
Clearly, the computer giant intends to compete with Google using this innovative new method.
Could Bing surpass Google?
A few weeks ago, the possibility of Microsoft dethroning Google in terms of search traffic looked like pure fiction.
However, here we are, discussing Bing for the first time in years.
If this proves accurate, Google’s whole business model will need to be revised.
The simple error made by Google’s Bard suggests Microsoft pressured Google’s hand more than they would want to admit and highlights how high the stakes are with artificial intelligence.
Will Bard continue to be imposing and potent?
Yes, but Google will have to work harder to recover the faith of consumers and Wall Street while Microsoft continues to advance.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s popularity is another string in Microsoft’s bow.
Despite numerous crashes and only being trained on information until 2021, it has acquired a massive following and created daily headlines since its debut.
This new frontier may be Microsoft’s defining moment and an upheaval in the global order of Big Tech.
The AI wars have begun.
Not only have they come with a bang, but the companies involved in this struggle have the deepest finances of any business on the globe.
There is always the risk that new rivals will enter the market due to the fast evolution of technology.
As an investor, it will be extremely difficult to remain on top of the situation and identify the winners.
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