Is Google panicking over the rise of ChatGPT and how the AI chatbot could hurt its search and ad business? Well, that could explain why the company is holding a surprise live stream event on Wednesday, February 8, which Google says will show how it is "using the power of AI to reimagine how people search for, explore and interact with information."
Alerts to the live stream event were sent to several media outlets late on Thursday. For some reason, the event will be held in Paris, France, starting at 8:30 am Eastern Time (5:30 am Pacific Time). The YouTube link to the live stream video shows artwork that includes previous AI products, like using Google Translate on text in pictures and using Google Lens to identify objects.
The event comes as Google is currently struggling financially, at least on paper. It showed very little growth in its revenues for the fourth quarter of 2022. It also laid off 12,000 employees just a few weeks ago. On top of that, Google is dealing with the massive growth of OpenAI's ChatGPT. It officially launched in late November 2022, and one report claims 100 million users have accessed the service since the launch. Rival Microsoft appears to be all in on ChatGPT, with a new multi-year partnership between it and OpenAI. There are also rumors that Microsoft's Bing search engine will incorporate an updated and faster version of ChatGPT very shortly.
There are rumors that Google is working on its own answer to ChatGPT called Apprentice Bard (via CNBC), which will reportedly offers natural-sounding answers to user questions. The rumors state it use Google's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) technology. Google is also working on an AI program that can generate music. It's possible we could see these programs, and more, demonstrated at Wednesday's live stream event.
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