A recent report in The New York Times hinting that Google could lose a substantial part of its market share to more AI-driven rivals caused shares of its parent company Alphabet to drop by over 3% as trading began on Monday, April 17th.

Just last month, South Korean tech firm Samsung declared that it was contemplating the use of Microsoft’s search engine Bing in its mobile devices instead of Alphabet’s Google. This, in turn, raised serious concerns among the search engine giant’s employees.

However, Google remains unfazed by the possibility. Indeed, the company is in the process of developing Project Magi, its own AI-driven search engine, with a team of 160 people working on it.

Magi is expected to change the way results are presented on Google and will offer users an enhanced experience where an AI chat tool can help answer their questions. The company hopes to roll the new search engine out to the public by next month.

Nothing New

But while many people assume that the use of artificial intelligence in 21st-century technologies is a completely new innovation, Alphabet has actually been using AI for a number of years.

In a statement released to the media, company spokesperson Lara Levin explained that Alphabet regularly uses AI to improve the quality of Google search results and to develop completely new ways by which those online can maximize their use of the search engine. 

The introduction of a hybrid text and image search feature via both classic Google and Google Lens last year is one of the innovations that came about thanks to Alphabet’s use of AI.

Levin added that Google uses AI in a responsible manner in order to maintain its high standards for delivering relevant and high-quality information. 

Admittedly, not all of the AI-driven innovations have been introduced to the public, but the company continues to enhance its flagship search engine with AI-enhanced features, some of which will be launched soon.

Threatened Dominance

For over 20 years, Google has become the search engine of choice for users around the world. However, the successful introduction of the controversial generative AI tool ChatGPT which generates results that practically sound human seems to have lit a fire under Google, essentially jolting it out of being complacent at being the world’s leading search engine.

As a result, a company executive declared at an industry event back in February that Google will soon integrate generative AI tech into its flagship, something that will lay down the foundations for its next-generation information tools. Indeed, Google opened limited access last month to Bard, a generative AI developed to compete with ChatGPT.

However, this soft launch came under fire after a demo version of Bard gave an inaccurate answer regarding the James Webb Space Telescope. Immediately following the incident, Alphabet’s share value plunged by 7.7%, essentially a loss of around $100 billion.