Google has long been the dominant search engine, with Microsoft’s own ‘Bing’ search engine often ridiculed for its low market share and lack of features.
But could that be about to change?
Built on OpenAI’s Chat GPT3 – which is a powerful AI technology that Microsoft has recently invested in, Bing has now rolled out its very own conversational AI chatbot.
Billed as ‘the new Bing’ it has caused quite a storm that is threatening Google’s status as the king of search engines.
In a cruel twist of fate, Google has been working on its own version of a conversational AI Chatbot for some time, called ‘Google Bard’.
Bard is powered by a lightweight version of LaMDA (short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications) and Google points out that its 2017 Transformer research project was the basis on which most generative AI apps are built today.
Google just didn’t expect GPT-3 to be so advanced and has been taken aback by Bing’s powerful new AI chatbot.
So now the two tech giants are pitted against each other in a head-to-head battle to see who can offer the best AI search experience.
Let’s take a look at each technology that promises to revolutionise the way we search and communicate online.
Microsoft Bing & OpenAI
On May 28th 2020, a group of researchers and engineers at OpenAI presented papers introducing GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) that used deep learning to produce human-like text.
Starting with a given text as your starting point, this revolutionary technology will generate sentences that keep the conversation going.
Described as a ‘state-of-the-art’ large language model, GPT-3 was used to power Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot after the company invested.
The team of engineers at Microsoft also added a few features to the OpenAI’s GPT-3, including natural language understanding and sentiment analysis.
The result is a powerful AI assistant that can understand and respond to natural language queries with good accuracy.
Microsoft’s Bing Features
With a whole host of features, the new Bing is like having your very own assistant to help you get the answers to those burning questions, however complex.
It doesn’t stop at just one answer either – you can carry on the conversation, refine your question or change your query completely.
Instead of being overwhelmed with options (like search results) Bing will look at results across the web and summarise those responses to your specific question.
Whether you’re looking at meal ideas, travel options or how to respond to an email – the new Bing is designed to inspire you!
Unlike Chat GPT – which uses a data model of up to 1.5 billion parameters – Bing’s AI is optimised for more specific, longer phrases and conversations.
It offers reliable up-to-date results, cites sources and makes accurate suggestions for you.
The New Bing vs Traditional Search Engines
So what’s different about the new Bing than using a traditional search engine?
Well instead of page upon page of those contextual results (SERPS), the new Bing consolidates reliable sources across the web to give you a summarised response.
You can now search the way you think, text or talk!
Chat naturally as you would to a friend, ask follow-up questions and receive personalised replies tailored to you. It can be used as a creative tool to write song lyrics, help debug programming code or even generate ideas for a project.
Search is changing – and Bing promises to deliver an experience like nothing else before it!
Now, Microsoft may well have pipped Google to the post with this powerful conversational AI chatbot, but Google is not ready to concede just yet.
So let’s take a look at what Google Bard offers, and find out who will be crowned the victor of this AI chatbot war.
Google Bard & LaMDA
To refresh from earlier, Google’s AI chatbot is called Bard, powered by a lightweight version of LaMDA which has been in development for around 2 years.
Google has been working on its own experimental AI chatbot for some time, and Bard offers various features such as natural language understanding and sentiment analysis.
Unlike GPT-3 which is trained on a data model of up to 1.5 billion parameters, LaMDA is more focused on conversational responses based on natural language processing.
But what are the pros and cons of this, and what makes it superior (or not) to GPT-3?
Well, LaMDA is more accurate and specific than GPT-3 because it pays more attention to the context of conversations.
It’s also more accurate with sentiment analysis, meaning it can understand how users feel about certain topics and respond accordingly.
The downside of LaMDA is that it is often slower to respond, as it needs to be trained more initially and Google has yet to deploy the advanced techniques that Microsoft has used with GPT-3.
Before we jump into the nuts and bolts of Bard, we wanted to first explain BERT – which is a natural language processing technique that Google recently developed called a transformer model.
BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and it is a powerful deep-learning tool that can be used to teach AI how to understand the context of a sentence.
What this means is that Bard (powered by LaMDA and BERT) can now understand the nuances of language.
That means it can pick up on sarcasm, recognise puns and even understand the intent behind a sentence.
In truth, this sounds like a much more powerful technology than GPT-3 and could be the deciding factor in this AI chatbot war.
Only time will tell (and Google misjudged the timing of GPT-3 and Microsoft Bing’s rollout!) but one thing is for sure – there are big changes on the way to Google search!
Google Bard Features
So what are the features that make Google Bard so special?
Google promises a ‘personal AI assistant’, that is able to accurately answer questions, provide information on products and services, and offer insights on topics.
It can look at results from across the web and summarise them for you, as well as offer personalised recommendations.
Google has also integrated its Knowledge Graph into Bard, which is a database of facts and relationships between people, places and things.
This means that it can offer definitive answers to more complex questions, such as the population of a certain city back in history, or the title of a book and author.
Bard can also understand sentiment, so it can sense when you’re feeling angry, frustrated or excited and respond with appropriate answers.
We can expect Google’s long list of search tools to be incorporated into Bard as well, such as Google Trends and its Autocomplete feature.
Currently, Google Bard is in beta testing for a selected few, so we are unable to test out the features yet.
AI-Powered Search Engines
Could there be alternative search engines on the horizon?
With Google and Microsoft going head-to-head in the AI Chatbot Wars, it’s only a matter of time before other tech giants jump in such as Amazon, Meta and other social media and eCommerce platforms.
They’re more than capable of creating their own large language models from the vast amounts of data they have access to.
Amazon has of course released its own version of an AI-powered search engine called ‘Alexa‘, which is designed to understand natural language and provide reliable answers.
Meta on the other hand is a search engine that uses AI to analyse data from its own users, as well as external sources such as Wikipedia and news sites.
The result is a more accurate response to your query – it can even suggest related questions you may have forgotten to ask!
These early adopters of AI search engines could well be the start of a trend for 2023 and beyond, as more and more companies strive to provide us with the best possible search experience.
The Battle of the AI Chatbot Wars: Microsoft Bing vs Google Bard
And so, it is only natural that these two tech giants are now in competition as they battle it out for the title of best AI search engine.
Google has been praised for its ability to understand natural language and offer more accurate, contextual results, while Microsoft’s Bing has the edge when it comes to speed and accuracy.
But with more and more companies launching their own AI-powered search engines, the future of search is looking very exciting.
So which AI chatbot will reign supreme? We’ll just have to wait and see!
If you need help navigating the new SEO and search landscape, get in touch with our team, who can help answer questions and provide a strategy for your business.