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Google Devising Radical Search Changes to Beat Back A.I. Rivals

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Google has been worried about A.I.-powered competitors since OpenAI demonstrated a chatbot called ChatGPT in November.

Modernizing its search engine has become an obsession at Google, and the planned changes could put new AI technology in phones and homes all over the world.

Credit: Laura Morton/The New York Times

Google's employees were shocked when they learned in March that the South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung was considering replacing Google with Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine on its devices.

For years, Bing had been a search engine also-ran. But it became a lot more interesting to industry insiders when it recently added new artificial intelligence technology.

Google's reaction to the Samsung threat was "panic," according to internal messages reviewed by The New York Times. An estimated $3 billion in annual revenue was at stake with the Samsung contract. An additional $20 billion is tied to a similar Apple contract that will be up for renewal this year.

A.I. competitors like the new Bing are quickly becoming the most serious threat to Google's search business in 25 years, and in response, Google is racing to build an all-new search engine powered by the technology. It is also upgrading the existing one with A.I. features, according to internal documents reviewed by The Times.

From The New York Times
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