Published on October 26, 2023, 6:01 am
One of the largest tech companies in the world, Google, is set to introduce generative artificial intelligence (AI) to its massive user base. This move is expected to have significant implications in the digital assistant landscape, marking the start of a true digital assistant war.
Digital assistants like Siri from Apple and Google Assistant have become an integral part of the mobile experience for many users. With a simple voice prompt, these assistants can answer questions and perform tasks. However, the success rates of these interactions have been average at best.
Enter ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI. It has quickly gained popularity, with Reuters reporting that it reached 100 million users faster than Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok. The appeal of ChatGPT lies in its conversational quality—it feels like you’re having a real conversation with the bot.
Google is fully capable of replicating this conversational experience. While currently AI cannot engage in actual conversations as it lacks sentience, Google has previously showcased its ability to mimic a personal assistant with software algorithms like Google Duplex. This impressive technology demonstrated voice inflection and human-like linguistic cues when making phone calls.
Now, according to an email sent to employees in early August by Peeyyush Ranjan, Vice President of Engineering at Assistant, Google plans to bring large language model (LLM) technology into Assistant. Ranjan wrote about exploring the potential of generative AI to transform people’s lives and create a supercharged Assistant powered by LLM technology.
This development is particularly noteworthy because Google Assistant is integrated into all of Google’s products—Maps, Chrome, Docs, Search—and serves as the voice prompt for Google Home, Android Auto,
and Android devices. With Duplex-level capabilities available on billions of devices through this integration, it could revolutionize how we interact with generative AI.
While this shift will disrupt Google’s native digital advertising model that relies on their successful 10 blue links strategy, the long-term implications are promising. Google’s deep understanding of users and its position as a gatekeeper to vast amounts of information through Google Search can be leveraged to create a reliable digital assistant. Members might even be willing to pay for subscription-based upgraded features, potentially supplanting the advertising model.
Investors should consider the long-term potential of this development. Shares of Alphabet—the parent company of Google—are currently trading at a relatively low multiple, presenting a possible investment opportunity.
In summary, Google’s introduction of generative AI to its digital assistant is set to disrupt the industry. With powerful capabilities available on billions of devices and the potential for subscription-based services, it opens up new possibilities for both users and investors alike.