Google is working on new artificial intelligence tools to improve its search engine and compete with Microsoft's Bing, which already includes this technology in its service. Although the project, which at the moment has the name of Magi, was already underway, it seems that everything has been accelerated by the doubts of a third party, Samsung, which is considering changing to Bing on its mobile devices.
At stake there is, at least, the 3,000 million dollars that Google reports annually its agreement with the Korean company, by which its search engine is the one used by default its phones and tablets. According to internal messages obtained by the New York Times, the reaction of the American firm went into "panic" when in March Samsung began to test the possibility of changing this. Google, in addition, would have asked for volunteers to work on new ideas to propose to Samsung, which, according to this information, would have surprised the search engine workers themselves.
On the horizon appears, in addition, a similar contract signed with Apple and that represents almost seven times more income: 20,000 million dollars. It should be renewed this year.
Microsoft introduced this new version of Bing in February, in full furor for artificial intelligence. The Redmond company, in fact, had announced an investment of 10,000 million dollars in OpenAI, creators of ChatGPT, at the end of January. In any case, and despite the problems – its approaches were not always correct, both in form and form – it attracted the attention of users and companies, as it seems the natural evolution of the search engine sector: give answers instead of offering links.
Google, meanwhile, has its own AI, Bard, another conversational language engine similar to ChatGPT. Broadly speaking, this type of tools are able to hold conversations through their prediction systems, which allow us to know which word is more likely to make sense depending on what the previous one has been and what the user has asked.
The Magi project, which has about 160 full-time dedicated workers, would be an intermediate point that would allow artificial intelligence functions to be added to the current search engine, but without completely redesigning the system. It will initially be available to one million users – only in the United States – although the figure will gradually increase until reaching 30 million before the end of the year.
Behind this struggle to have the best artificial intelligence, therefore, there is another, which is to be able to lead the new search market. And, meanwhile, be the search engine that millions of users will find by default when they start using their new phone.
Samsung fights with Apple to be the main manufacturer of mobile phones and is, by far, the leader among those that distribute devices with Google's operating system, Android. According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, 19% of terminals shipped in the last quarter of 2022 belonged to Samsun and Statcounter figures its global market share at 27.1% in March. In both cases it is behind the apple company.
Although now the situation scares Google, the reality is that the company is the undisputed leader in this sector. So much so, that it has already facedsignificant fines for abuse of dominant position in many markets, including mobile devices. In September 2022, the General Court of the EU confirmed a fine of 4,125 million euros – it was a slight reduction, since a fine of 4,343 million had been raised – to the company for imposing restrictions on manufacturers that used Android. In this case, the EU pointed directly to the agreements that obliged companies that wanted a license to exploit the application store of their operating system, Play Store, to install Google Search and Chrome. According to EU estimates in this case, around 80% of smartphones use Android in Europe.
- Artificial intelligence
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