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OpenAI could be developing a search engine to rival Google

Is Google Search getting worse for you? Then OpenAI might have a solution up its sleeve.
By

Published onFebruary 15, 2024

Google Search on smartphone stock photo (3)
TL;DR
  • OpenAI is reportedly working on a “web search” product.
  • The service would be partly powered by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

OpenAI has already shaken up the tech industry and forced companies like Google to embrace a new generation of AI features. Now, it sounds like the ChatGPT creator might directly challenge Google with a search engine.

The Information reports that OpenAI is working on a “web search product,” citing someone familiar with the plans. This service would partly be powered by Microsoft’s Bing, according to the source.

It’s unclear whether this would be a separate service from ChatGPT. For what it’s worth, ChatGPT indeed offers a Browse with Bing feature as part of the ChatGPT Plus subscription.

Can OpenAI topple Google Search in the first place?

This would nevertheless be OpenAI’s most direct challenge yet against Google if confirmed. Web search is Google’s bread and butter, and search advertising has been the company’s cash cow for years now.

The biggest question, though, is whether an OpenAI search product can deliver a superior product to Google and even topple Google in the first place. Google has been criticized in recent years for low-quality results, owing to poor-quality websites using AI-generated content and SEO. This criticism has been partially backed up by a recent study focused on product-related searches. OpenAI’s web search product would need to avoid these and other pitfalls if it hopes to stand a chance of beating Google.

Do you think OpenAI can beat Google at search?

185 votes

This wouldn’t be the first AI-driven search engine, either. The Information points to the Perplexity AI service as one recent example. Perplexity allows users to make search queries, with the service then churning out related links as well as a text-based answer.

The news comes as Google recently announced it was renaming its Bard AI assistant to Gemini. It’s also offering a $20/month Google One AI Premium plan that includes 2TB of storage and access to the Gemini Advanced service.