Google is apparently rushing forward with AI-powered Search amid Microsoft threat

The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shade
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is apparently scrambling to inject artificial intelligence into its Search product in the face of Microsoft Bing's threat.
  • According to a report from The New York Times, Samsung plans to replace Search with Bing as the default search engine on its smartphones.
  • As a result, Mountain View is working on several AI features for Search and an all-new AI-powered search engine to complete with Bing.

Samsung is reportedly planning on replacing Google Search with Bing as the default search engine on its mobile devices, according to internal documents obtained by The New York Times.

The South Korean tech giant's supposed plan to switch to Bing has Google scrambling to protect its search business from Microsoft. The Times reports that Google is rushing to respond to a ChatGPT-powered Bing with a slew of fresh AI capabilities for Search as well as an entirely new search engine.

Google has apparently formed a team of designers and engineers to work on an umbrella project known as "Magi." The goal is to upgrade the current version of Search with a number of AI features that will provide users with a more personalized experience.

One of the features reportedly being developed by Google is a system that combines Google Earth's mapping tools with AI. The search giant is also working on a search feature that will provide users with information in a more conversational manner.

A chatbot that can respond to queries about software coding and write corresponding snippets of code is also in the works. Users will also be able to look for music by chatting with a chatbot.

This mix of search queries will presumably be interspersed with ads, including those placed under the computer code answers, the internal documents indicate. So, when you're shopping online for shoes or booking a flight using a Magi feature, for example, expect to see ads somewhere on the results pages.

In addition to these features, the team is working on other AI projects, such as a tool in Google Image Search dubbed "GIFI," which will generate images based on text descriptions. This is similar to a recently added feature in Google Slides. Another upcoming product is "Tivoli Tutor," which will allow users to learn new languages through open-ended AI conversations.

Google's team is also developing a Chrome feature dubbed "Searchalong," which would allow a chatbot to scan the web for contextual information related to your queries.

The report states that these AI features will be released to the public in May, presumably at Google's upcoming I/O event. In the fall, additional features are expected to arrive. That said, these capabilities will initially be limited to over a million users in the United States. By the end of 2023, the goal is to get these AI upgrades in the hands of 30 million people.

On top of these upgrades, Google is supposedly building a new search engine from the ground up. However, Mountain View's plans for a brand-new search engine are still in their early stages, and there's no word on when they will become public.

When asked for confirmation, a Google representative gave the following statement to Android Central: "Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new AI-powered features to Search, and will share more details soon."

It's unclear whether Samsung's potential switch to Bing is due to Microsoft's new AI smarts in its search engine. Google is said to be negotiating a contract renewal with the South Korean conglomerate, which has used Google Search as the default search engine on many of the best Samsung phones for the past 12 years. In the end, Samsung could keep its search partnership with Google.

In any case, it makes sense that Google would be in panic mode given Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI. After all, Google's search contract with Samsung is said to be worth around $3 billion in annual revenue, so the tech behemoth has a lot at stake.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.