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Panic at the AI disco: Google plans flurry of features after a Samsung threat

Samsung has reportedly considered switching to Microsoft Bing as the default search engine on its phones.
By

Published onApril 17, 2023

Stock photo of Google Bard website on phone 5
TL;DR
  • Google is reportedly planning several new AI features in Search and other products that could debut at Google I/O 2023 next month.
  • The company reportedly hit the panic button because Samsung has considered switching to Microsoft Bing as the default search engine on its phones.
  • Google is also said to be building a brand-new AI-powered search engine.

Alarm bells apparently sounded off at Google in March when Samsung reportedly informed the company that it’s considering making Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine on its phones. This, after using Google Search has been a default on Samsung phones for the past 12 years! The likely reason for Samsung’s consideration — AI.

According to internal Google communications reviewed by The New York Times, the Samsung threat put the company in “panic” mode. The contract from the South Korean conglomerate is worth $3 billion in revenue for Google. An additional $20 billion Apple contract is also up for renewal this year. Clearly, there’s a lot at stake for Google when it comes to adopting generative AI in its products.

Would you want Microsoft Bing as the default search engine on your Samsung phone?

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NYT reports that the company is planning a flurry of new AI-powered Search features that could launch as soon as next month at Google I/O 2023. There’s even a whole new search engine reportedly in the works, but that could still be some time away.

Meanwhile, Google is said to be working on a project called “Magi,” under which it will add new AI abilities to Search results, image search, and more. Magi will reportedly keep ads in the mix of search queries. The planned Search updates also include the ability for the chatbot to write code and have a conversation with users.

The company plans to initially release these features exclusively in the US to about a million users. The number could go up to 30 million users by the end of the year.

Other Google AI projects include “GIFI,” a tool to generate images in Google Image results. Another new product called “Tivoli Tutor” might be used to teach users a new language through AI conversations.

A Google Chrome extension called “Searchalong” might also be in the making. It could let users ask a chatbot questions while surfing the web through Google’s Chrome browser.