Google’s founders’ response to ChatGPT ‘Code Red’

Google’s founders’ response to ChatGPT ‘Code Red’

Bonded Agency February 3, 2023

ChatGPT has been a hot topic in marketing for months now, but Google’s latest ‘Code Red’ shows that they have their own real concerns about the use of automated content.


Update: Google this week has announced Bard, its immediate response to Microsoft’s impending roll-out of conversational AI results in its Bing search engine. 

Everyone in marketing seems to have an opinion on ChatGPT, since its explosion in popularity in the recent months. The rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has the potential to rival search engines by encompassing conversational AI abilities that recently provoked a “code red” within Google headquarters. While everyone has a ‘hot take’ on what’s next for ChaGPT, Google’s own concerns have highlighted the importance for companies to maintain an insight into how we may use search engines in the future.

According to Search Engine Journal, the rise of Open AI’s ChatGPT provides a new way to search for information, threatening to overthrow the search engine giant. The technology used by ChatGPT creates a conversational Q&A function facilitating a quicker search for certain queries, rather than the user manually sifting through Google’s billions of indexed pages. Data Driven Investor claims AI has the capability to “revolutionise how we search for information, and despite only coming to the attention of the wider public, ChatGPT has generated an audience of one million users in just 5 days post release according to Business Insider.  

Recent data from Analytics Insight identified that Google processes nearly nine billion search queries each day, and still leads the market with a share of around 84% of all searches across the world. Unlike Google, Analytics Insight suggests ChatGPT uses a technology which is able to capture “human intelligence” to interpret queries which enables a response using “human-level bilateral dialogue.”

Panic at Google headquarters

Thanks to their new innovative method of search encompassing AI capabilities, ChatGPT has provoked a shift in search engine development strategy, ultimately resulting in a “Code Red” alert at Google headquarters. According to Business Insider, the rise of ChatPT may reduce clicks on Google Ads which generated $208 billion dollars, making up 81% of Googles’ revenue in 2021. 

The introduction of a more convenient chatbot technology may therefore affect Google’s main source of income, prompting a quick response to develop a similar software to rival these companies. CNET explains that Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has already held meetings to formulate Google’s response to the impending threat proposed by ChatGPT. Insights from Search Engine Journal suggest that Google has approved plans to launch 20 new AI products as well as an updated version of its Google Assistant to rival ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is not the only competitor

According to Data Driven Investor, Microsoft has already invested in OpenAI who own ChatGPT. As a result, Google may face a resurgence in competition from Microsoft, if it can incorporate ChatGPT-like results into its Bing search engines results, touted for release in March this year. Various other search engines possess a chatbot feature such as and Neeva which could also pose a threat to Google’s search dominance.

ChatGPT is just one of the many companies threatening to overthrow Google and potentially hitting Google’s main revenue stream of Google Ads. It is likely we would expect to see a similar product released by Google in the not so distant future. With the introduction of cutting-edge AI capabilities, this therefore poses the question of how we will use search engines in the future, and what role conversational AI will play.

We’d love to hear your take on whether Google should really be afraid, as well as potential uses and pitfalls of ChaptGPT by leaving a comment below, or joining the conversation on our LinkedIn.

Marisa Bailey is a Digital Marketing MSc student with an interest in reporting on the latest digital media trends.



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