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Google Search Trends Show Parabolic Bing Search Engine Growth After ChatGPT Integration

Google Search Trends Show Parabolic Bing Search Engine Growth After ChatGPT Integration

Bing search engine

Google trends

A Google Trends search of the term “Bing” showed that interest in Microsoft’s search engine increased from a score of 59 in February 2022 to a score of 100 the week of Nov. 20 to Nov. 26, soon after artificial intelligence company OpenAI launched its wildly popular chatbot tool ChatGPT and became a viral sensation.

In less than a week after launch, ChatGPT landed more than 1 million users.

Within a week after the ChatGPT launch, interest in the Bing search term had subsided to 77, but it spiked again to 100 on Feb. 7 after Microsoft announced it was debuting a new version of its Bing search engine running on a more powerful version of ChatGPT.

Microsoft is making a multi-year, multi-billion investment in ChatGPT, including $13 billion in the OpenAI startup and billions of dollars in computing power needed to build its artificial intelligence technology.

Not to be outdueled, Google announced in late January that it was testing a chatbot called Apprentice Bard which receives questions, provides detailed answers and could be a potential competitor for ChatGPT.

Some people on social media suggested that Google could lose its value as the No. 1 search engine because of the early success of the Microsoft-supported ChatGPT. Sridhar Ramaswamy, who oversaw Google’s ads and commerce business between 2013 and 2018, predicted that generative search from systems such as ChatGPT would disrupt Google’s traditional search business “in a massive way.”

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When it comes to market share, the numbers are all over the place for the Google and Bing search engines. As of December 2022, Bing accounted for nearly 9 percent of the global search market, a distant second to market leader Google’s 84.08 percent market share, according to a Jan. 6 Statista report. However, Statcounter reported in January 2023 that Google had 92.9 percent of the search engine market share worldwide as of January 2023 while Bing had 3.03 percent.

As long as you don’t need to know where the bot gets its information, or whether it’s sending you fact or fiction, ChatGPT can explain complex topics, show you how to solve math problems, write a customized resume, and cover letter and create original jokes, among other things.

Apprentice Bard looks similar to ChatGPT, accepting questions in a dialog box and responding with a text answer. Its answers can also include recent events, a feature ChatGPT doesn’t have yet, according to several responses viewed by CNBC.

Both companies are rushing to incorporate new kinds of generative AI into search engines and are eager to show their advancements following the explosion of ChatGPT, Kif Leswing wrote for CNBC. However, Google’s head of AI, Jeff Dean, told employees the company can’t risk providing wrong information so it’s moving “more conservatively than a small startup.” 

Images: Google trends

ChatGPT doesn’t reveal the sources of its information and that may be one of its biggest weaknesses, wrote Bloomberg opinion columnist Parmy Olson. Sometimes, its answers are wrong but the inaccuracies are hard to spot because ChatGPT sounds confident and authoritative. OpenAI admits its answers are often plausible-sounding and “typically look like they might be good,” according to Stack Overflow, a popular code forum that has temporarily banned ChatGPT.

“ChatGPT simply makes it too easy for users to generate responses and flood the (Stack Overflow) site with answers that seem correct at first glance but are often wrong on close examination,” The Verge reported.

Microsoft demonstrated the new ChatGPT technology to reporters last week, embedding it in the Bing search engine, where it analyzed earnings reports from Gap and Lululemon. In comparing its answers to the actual reports, the chatbot missed some numbers and appeared to have made up some others, CNBC reported.

“Bing AI got some answers completely wrong during their demo. But no one noticed,” wrote independent search researcher Dmitri Brereton in a Substack post on Monday. “Instead, everyone jumped on the Bing hype train.”

AI experts have a simple term for the “propensity of tools based on large language models to simply make stuff up,” Leswing wrote. It’s called “hallucination.”

In other words, “fluent hogwash” Bloomberg columnist Olson wrote. The Chat GPT mistake rate going around on Twitter is 2-to-5 percent, Olson said. That will make internet users wary of using ChatGPT for important information — a plus for Google. Another advantage for Google is that “as long as ChatGPT doesn’t offer links to other sites, it is not encroaching too deeply on Google’s turf.” But  OpenAI is working on a system called WebGPT, which will include source citations. “A combination of ChatGPT and WebGPT could be a powerful alternative to Google,” Olson wrote. OpenAI isn’t publicly speculating about its future applications, but if its new chatbot starts sharing links to other websites, particularly those that sell things, that could pose a threat for Google, Olson wrote.