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ChatGPT’s supremacy: Google’s narrow thinking lets OpenAI win
By Satyen K. Bordoloi  |  Apr 26, 2023
ChatGPT’s supremacy: Google’s narrow thinking lets OpenAI win
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Google has lost ground since ChatGPT burst onto the AI scene, but that need not be the case, writes Satyen K. Bordoloi as he looks for solutions while rummaging through Google’s recycle bin. Rather than pressing the panic button, a simple change in perspective may be needed.

MUMBAI - When I bought the ASUS ZenFone 6 in October 2019, I was especially excited by the topmost button on its right side. When I pressed it, out popped Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) Assistant, which inquired, ‘Hi, how can I help?’ I asked it to tell a joke. Its response under the caveat ‘This one is an acquired taste’ was ‘Why don’t some couples go to the gym? Because some relationships don’t work out.’

Three and half years later, there is still nothing more that the special but useless, wasted AI assistant button can do. As ChatGPT storms the world, the joke seems to be on Google: ‘Why don’t Google and AI go to the gym? Because their relationship hasn’t worked out yet.’

Shaky ground

When ChatGPT stormed the world, Google felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under it. Sundar Pichai, its chief executive, not only sounded code red, but recalled Google’s original founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page - who had not been involved in the company’s operations since 2019. On February 8, a day after Microsoft Bing announced its ChatGPT-based search, Google unveiled Bard, its own search powered by artificial intelligence (AI). That right there - thinking that the only threat ChatGPT poses is to its advertising business - is where Google is making its biggest mistake and unable to see the woods for the trees. 

Interestingly, ChatGPT’s parent OpenAI came into existence because it thought Google was monopolizing AI and wanted to create the Wikipedia of AI - an open AI for, of and by the people. Though OpenAI has become mostly closed since, it has in part stayed true to that principle: It scrapped an incredible amount of human digital text data - much of it obtained without consent - to create its GPT models, and so far, everyone can use ChatGPT - albeit a slower version - for free. In doing so, the ex-Google employees who make up

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