Last year, came the iPhone moment in the tech landscape when OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, a conversation bot that can be used to generate original essays, song lyrics, coding, and pretty much anything you can think of in response to user prompts. Two months after launch, ChatGPT became the fastest application to reach 100 million users. Microsoft’s collaboration with San Francisco-based OpenAI and the launch of the new Bing search engine with ChatGPT-like tech has once again shown artificial intelligence is changing our relationship with computers as we know it.
Search engine giant “google” is not that far away, too. They are also working on an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT, it uses a language Model for Dialogue Applications or LaMDA short as its model. We still don’t know a ton about “bard” as it’s still limited to “trusted testers” at the moment. Their starting was not smooth though as the AI chatbot presented false information in a commercial video and Google lost 100 billion market value! Recently Musk is also adding himself to the chatbot arms race, with plans to develop an alternative to ChatGPT!
Well, all the events aside, These chatbots are capable of retrieving information and presenting it in the form of a human-like conversation. Facebook’s parent company Meta also has a new machine-learning language model. This isn’t a system you can talk to but, rather, a research tool that Meta is hoping others will use to solve some of the problems that plague AI language models. With all of these advancements in chatbot technology, it begs the question: how exactly are they transforming the internet?
Before the advent of ChatGPT, conversational chatbots were primarily based on rule-based systems. These chatbots were designed to follow a predefined set of rules and decision trees to guide the conversation with users. While they could handle simple and predictable conversations with users, they often struggled with more complex or unexpected interactions.
Instant Answers via Chat
The primary objective of AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT and Bard, is to help users save time. Currently, if you search for a query on Google, you’ll be presented with an extensive list of articles, and it’s up to you to manually sift through them to find the answer you need. This approach isn’t particularly efficient. In real-world interactions, when you ask someone a question in person, you don’t expect a lengthy, exhaustive commentary on the subject. Instead, you anticipate a brief, personalized response that draws on their experience, utilizing examples and metaphors to make it easy to understand. If you require further information, you can always ask them to elaborate.
This is exactly what AI search is trying to replicate. The goal of internet search is to eliminate unnecessary information and offer instant, and precise answers without requiring you to invest significant effort in figuring it out on your own. However, achieving this objective is not a straightforward task.
In the future, search functionality will become more conversational. Presently, when you search for a query on the internet, you do it in a way that isn’t natural, but rather in a way you believe the algorithm will comprehend. In essence, you must use particular keywords and have some familiarity with the industry-specific lingo that pertains to your inquiry.
For instance, rather than searching “Where should I go on vacation this year?” you would search for “the top ten holiday destinations in 2023.” We do this because using a search engine instinctively feels like an investigation, which is why it’s methodical, whereas conversing with a chatbot feels more like a conversation. This means you’ll be able to use more natural language.
Before the existence of AI, people who worked with digital media used to generate genuine human-written content, as well as images and videos. However, all of these are now possible with AI-powered technologies. In the past, you needed to have a specific set of skills to produce any type of item. But now, if you just get the hang of command prompts, you can bring out pretty decent content. Do you need to write content? ChatGPT is here to help. Do you need updated facts? Use Bing search. Do you need an image for your blog or social media post? Dall-E-2 is here! Need a voiceover for your videos? Vall-E is here. Well, The possibilities are endless.
Online Shopping Becoming Easier
AI search will make online shopping much more convenient. No longer will you have to dig through endless reviews and product listings to find what you’re looking for. With just a few simple questions to a chatbot, you can instantly receive the top recommendations for your desired product category.
There’s more! You can even ask it to compare specs and prices and get an instant summary of the features and limitations of the products you find interesting, and then simply choose one from the list. The summary will also contain an Amazon link, so you can instantly jump to the platform and buy the item.
In this whole situation, the only parties who are winning are you and Amazon. But creators, publications, and product reviewers will find themselves in a difficult position and probably not want their content used for summarization via a chatbot.
Websites Will Lose Search Traffic
We saw how AI search will help users save time and potentially create more jobs, but we haven’t yet addressed the elephant in the room: monetization. Eventually, AI search will become satisfactory enough that users will no longer feel the need to visit web pages. This is great for users, but a nightmare for publications.
The internet as you know it today works on ad revenue. If people stop reading articles, publications will lose traffic and ad revenue and if they lose ad revenue, they can’t pay their staff. If they can’t pay their staff, no new content is produced. And if no new content is produced, these AI chatbots have nothing to summarize. Eventually, the internet dies. AI-generated content is technically not against Google’s Search guidelines, but the company did clarify that “using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.” Basically, you’re free to use AI-generated content as a template, but not as the final product. Using ChatGPT for homework is one thing, but using it to write commercial content is not only unethical but also a very bad idea in the long term.
It’s impressive how ChatGPT or AI-powered Bing can produce remarkable results, making searching faster and smoother, given their ability to converse like humans.AI pioneers say ChatGPT, Bing & Bard will push creativity, and take over mundane jobs so that humans can do better. AI will not make human skills obsolete, as many have been predicting for years. Rather, AI will replace certain tasks where data is manually fed and managed.