5: the number of days it took ChatGPT to reach one million subscribers since launching in November 2022.

100,000,000,000: the $100 billon dollar drop in the valuation of Alphabet yesterday after its new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, Bard, made an error in a promotional video...

Since launching ChatGPT, it has become the fastest internet application to hit 100 million users, taking just two months. We typically think about such growth in terms of the product adoption curve, and we know that tech products can grow very quickly. It took Facebook four years, Snapchat three years, Instagram two years, Google almost a year and TikTok 9 months to cross 100 million users.

In a world apart, since launching a short promotional video of Bard via Twitter that delivered an inaccurate answer, shares of Alphabet fell 8%, wiping $100 billion dollars off its market capitalisation in a single day. Compounding this error, several hours later at a live Bard launch in Paris, analysts said that the AI search event lacked details on how Google will answer the challenge of Microsoft ChatGPT.

While ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing consumer application in the history of internet applications, Alphabet’s Bard launch is undoubtedly the most expensive product flop in the history of humanity.

Why ChatGPT and Microsoft is a Code Red for Google

Disruptive innovation has been a major driving force behind the growth of the tech industry and refers to the introduction of new products or services that fundamentally change the way a market operates, and often disrupt established businesses.

While the tech industry is highly dynamic and rapidly evolving, it’s not uncommon for new technologies to emerge that disrupt established players and shake up the market. Case in point is Google which was not the first company to offer a search engine for the internet. In fact, when Google was founded in 1998, there were already several established search engines such as Yahoo! and AltaVista.

However, what set Google apart was its innovative approach to search. The company developed a unique algorithm, called PageRank, that used links between websites to determine the relevance of a particular page to a given search query. This made Google’s search results more accurate and relevant compared to other search engines of the time.

Additionally, Google’s simple and uncluttered design, combined with its advanced search capabilities, made it a popular choice among users. These factors, combined with Google’s focus on user experience, helped the company quickly gain market share and establish itself as the leader in the search engine market.

Enter ChatGPT. The search market is about to be disrupted.

When OpenAI released the latest version of ChatGPT in November 2022, it immediately began making waves in the AI and technology industry. With its advanced natural language processing capabilities, ChatGPT is capable of understanding and generating human-like text, making it a powerful tool for a wide range of applications. Whether it’s answering questions, providing information, generating creative content, or more, ChatGPT is designed to make people’s lives easier and more productive.

However, it’s important to note that while ChatGPT have been trained on a large dataset and can provide helpful information and suggestions, it is not perfect, and responses may not always be accurate or suitable for every situation.

This has not stopped Google from declaring a ‘Code Red’ as it senses an existential moment whereby ChatGPT may offer a new way to search for information on the internet. ChatGPT can serve up information in clear, simple sentences, rather than just a list of internet links from Google Search. It can explain concepts in ways people can easily understand.

So worried is Google, that founders Page and Brin have been called back into the business to ensure that Google’s own artificial intelligence capabilities are a priority. There is concern that the company may be facing a challenge that many of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley fear – the emergence of a significant technological shift that could potentially disrupt their business.

“No company is invincible; all are vulnerable,” said Margaret O’Mara, a professor at the University of Washington who specializes in the history of Silicon Valley. “For companies that have become extraordinarily successful doing one market-defining thing, it is hard to have a second act with something entirely different.”

Microsoft joins the Party

Microsoft launched a refreshed Bing search engine and Edge browser on Tuesday 7th February 2023, incorporating AI technology from ChatGPT. With this bold move, Microsoft sees a significant opportunity to challenge Google’s 84% market dominance in search. Impressive.

Microsoft unveiled these two products a day after Google unveiled Bard, its ChatGPT rival. Google’s Bard uses the company’s language model called LaMDA, while ChatGPT leverages the GPT 3 module.

At the product launch event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search.” “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat to help people get more from search and the web.”

Microsoft has transformed Bing into an “AI-powered co-pilot for the web,” incorporating OpenAI’s large language model into its search results. The technology is integrated into Microsoft’s Edge browser, enabling it to summarize PDFs and create LinkedIn posts. Unlike ChatGPT, the updated Bing can also retrieve news about recent events. In the demo, the search engine was able to answer questions about its launch, citing stories published in the last hour.

As they say on 24-hour news channels, this is a breaking story. Sit down and put your seatbelt on. This is going to be one hell of a ride.

Thank you for reading!

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