Google is having a hard time catching up with OpenAI. Google’s competitor to ChatGPT will not be ready until early 2024, after previously telling some cloud customers it would get to use Gemini AI in November of this year, sources told The Information Thursday.
Google Brain and Google Deepmind have been working on artificial intelligence since the early 2010s, but Google has somehow missed the 2023 hype cycle around conversational AI software. Google’s Gemini was reportedly set to debut in 2023 with image and voice recognition capabilities. The chatbot would have been competitive with OpenAI’s GPT-4, and Anthropic’s Claude 2.
Google released Bard earlier this year, and while it’s very similar to ChatGPT, it’s also severely limited. Google’s DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis says Gemini will be the company’s true competitor to ChatGPT. Hassabis told Wired back in June that Gemini will utilize unique methods called reinforcement learning and tree search to be more capable than ChatGPT.
At one time, Google held the greatest all-star team in the AI world, but a wave of corporate departures has made it difficult for Google to retain its dominance. The “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton quit his job at Google back in May, citing a need for regulation in his departure. A group of executives at Google collectively resigned in 2018 after the company agreed to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military program.
Google did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
It’s becoming harder and harder to catch up with ChatGPT every month. Just last week, OpenAI released updates allowing users to upload entire 300-page books onto its chatbot and announced a GPT store set to launch at the end of this month.
A senior software engineer said it best, noting that Google lacks that “secret sauce” to win the AI arms race, in a leaked internal document this year. In the midst of Google’s struggle to internally develop Gemini, the company has invested billions in a more promising ChatGPT competitor, Anthropic.
Google’s issues with generating a chatbot stem from a more existential problem. Will generative AI one day overtake search engines, Google’s core business? The company has integrated conversational AI into its search engine, perhaps a necessary first step before building its flagship chatbot. ChatGPT offers more concise answers from the internet, in mediums that serve people’s needs better than search engines. Maybe Google is still trying to figure out how to get ads into Gemini’s answers.