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Will ChatGPT sound the death knell for Google’s dominance?



For about a month, the ChatGPT chatbot has been arousing the wonder of all tech enthusiasts who try it. The day may not be far off when it will become a serious competitor to Google’s search engine, which has been dominant for more than 20 years.

Who uses Microsoft Bing for internet searches? Not you ? That could well change in the future, suggests Martin Bouchard, co-founder of the Copernic search tool in 1996, a sort of Google before the letter.

For the entrepreneur who now runs the QScale server centers, it’s only a matter of time before the extraordinary power of the intelligent ChatGPT text-based assistant is integrated with an internet search engine like Google or Microsoft Bing. .

In this regard, Microsoft has a head start on Alphabet, Google’s parent company, he believes, because of its close ties to Open AI, owner of ChatGPT.

“It’s time to make a particularly bold prediction: Microsoft Bing will dethrone Google as the new king of search engines,” the entrepreneur wrote on his Linkedln feed in December.

Since then, dispatches from Reuters and Bloomberg have announced Microsoft’s desire to integrate OpenAI technology into its Bing search engine.

The Press contacted Martin Bouchard to find out more.

“When I started using ChatGPT, I got my two minutes,” he says enthusiastically. I would not have believed that in such a short time, we could go from a standard search engine to something like this. »

The chatbot responds to written commands from the user such as “summarize for me in 5 paragraphs the highlights of a report,” explains Mr. Bouchard. Anyone who says they gladly spend 20 minutes a day testing the chatbot is amazed by the results.

Towards a new search engine war

“ChatGPT does not search websites, but it gives answers. However, often, the user of a search engine wants an answer to a question. He doesn’t necessarily look for websites,” explains Mr. Bouchard.

“If we integrate the two technologies [moteur de recherche et Chat GPT]we create a super search engine.

The engine will thus be able to understand the context and the intention behind a user’s request and thus respond with more relevant and more precise results.

Martin Bouchard, co-founder of the Copernic search tool in 1996

“There, it becomes dangerous for Google. The human being being lazy, he will not change his habits for a slightly superior technology. But if it becomes, for example, ten times better, we can have a paradigm shift. »

Why Microsoft rather than Google or another? we asked him. From what Mr. Bouchard knows, the Californian artificial intelligence laboratory OpenAI is very close to Microsoft. It offered cloud computing services to OpenAI for US$1 billion in exchange for an investment in the company.

“They decided to work closely together for a few years. It gives access to Microsoft in advance. What we see today from ChatGPT, we understand that the people at Microsoft have seen it for a very long time, ”says the tech entrepreneur.

He can easily imagine seeing, in two or three years, search engines that are much smarter than those of today. “There’s a good chance it’s coming from technologies like ChatGPt,” he says.

We will see in the next few years a new war of search engines. Google is not going to let this happen. Microsoft will go in there. There will be young shoots. It’s going to be exciting to see what’s to come.

Martin Bouchard, co-founder of the Copernic search tool and now head of QScale servers

wonders and limits

Mr. Bouchard says he is amazed by the power of ChatGPT. “You can almost ask him to find the bug in your software programming code, and he’ll do it. We can also submit the content of a contract to him, for example, by asking him to summarize it in five salient facts.

“What impresses me the most is his creativity. He can create a poem, a song. And I would say he speaks very well. In my opinion, he writes better than 95% of humans. »

All is not perfect, however. The form stands out better than the substance, we read of its reviews.

Also, the technology behind the chatbot is power-intensive. The cost per query is much higher than with Google.

“We’ll have to monetize it somehow at some point; the computational costs are exorbitant,” OpenAI boss Sam Altman wrote on Twitter on December 5. The service could thus become chargeable, warns Mr. Bouchard.

Second, the technology is not plugged into the internet in real time. “It stops in 2021 for the moment,” says Mr. Bouchard.

But that will change quickly. Version 4 is rumored to be released this spring and rumored to be up to 20 times more powerful than the current version of ChatGPT.

Valued at 29 billion US

OpenAI is in talks to sell a stake of at least US$300 million in shares in a tender offer, which would give it a valuation of around US$29 billion, the Wall Street Journal. According to him, Thrive Capital and Founders Fund are in talks to invest in it. The terms of the offer have not been finalized, warns the daily. OpenAI has not commented.

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