Conversational AI “Absolutely” Coming to Google Search, Says CEO Sundar Pichai

Enhancing search experience with large language models (LLMs) and chatbot integration

April 6, 2023, 12:14 EDT

Google’s search engine is set to evolve with the integration of conversational AI, as confirmed by CEO Sundar Pichai. The potential impact on organic traffic, ROI for Google Ads users, and the timeline for implementation remains unclear. However, the company is actively exploring and testing new search products that leverage chatbots and LLMs to enhance user experience.

AI-Powered Chat: The Future of Google Search

Sundar Pichai’s Take on Conversational AI in Google Search

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Pichai asserted that LLMs would play a significant role in the Google search experience. He stated, “Will people be able to ask questions to Google and engage with LLMs in the context of search? Absolutely.”

This statement comes in response to the recent launch of BingGPT search, which integrates AI chat and has generated considerable interest, albeit only resulting in a small increase in search engine market share.

Google’s Ongoing Exploration and Testing

Google is currently testing various new search products, including versions that allow users to ask follow-up questions to their initial queries. This development points to the company’s commitment to incorporating conversational AI and LLMs in its search functionality.

The Opportunity of Chatbots

In 2022, search ads generated $162 billion in revenue for Google. The rise of chatbots and generative AI has sparked debate over whether these technologies pose a threat to Google’s core search business. However, Pichai downplayed any such concerns, stating that “The opportunity space, if anything, is bigger than before.”

Bard: Google’s Standalone Generative AI Product

In January, Google announced plans to introduce chatbot features within its search platform. The first glimpse of this initiative came with the preview of Bard on February 6. Google has since clarified that Bard is not a search feature but rather a standalone generative AI product similar to ChatGPT.

Despite this clarification, Bard has become synonymous with AI chat features in search due to the coinciding announcement that showcased AI-generated answers within search results.

Potential Impact of AI Chat Integration in Google Search

  1. Organic Traffic: The integration of conversational AI may significantly alter the way users interact with search results, potentially leading to changes in organic traffic patterns.
  2. ROI for Google Ads Users: The incorporation of AI chat features could affect the performance of Google Ads, impacting the ROI for brands and organizations that rely on this advertising platform.
  3. Market Share: With BingGPT search generating excitement around AI chat integration, Google’s move to embrace LLMs and chatbots could further solidify its dominance in the search engine market.

In Summary

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed that conversational AI will play a crucial role in the future of Google Search. The company is actively testing new search products that incorporate chatbots and LLMs to enhance the user experience.

Here’s how it might look like:

Google Bard Search

While the exact timeline for implementation remains unknown, the potential impact on organic traffic, ROI for Google Ads users, and the search engine market share cannot be overlooked.

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