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The Race to Build a ChatGPT-Powered Search Engine

Wired: “A search bot you converse with could make finding answers easier—if it doesn’t tell fibs. Microsoft, Google, Baidu, and others are working on it…But the way the technology works is in some ways fundamentally at odds with the idea of a search engine that reliably retrieves information found online. There’s plenty of inaccurate information on the web already, but ChatGPT readily generates fresh falsehoods. Its underlying algorithms don’t draw directly from a database of facts or links but instead generate strings of words aimed to statistically resemble those seen in its training data, without regard for the truth. Despite that challenge, and perhaps driven on by the giddiness around ChatGPT, the titans of web search, as well as several startups, are plunging ahead. Microsoft, which has invested around $10 billion in ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI, is said to be somehow adding the underlying technology to its second-ranked search engine Bing. Google, which has been working on a similar chatbot called LaMDA for some time, is reported to be scrambling to respond. It plans to release a form of LaMDA soon and may demo as many as 20 products this year that use the same technology. China’s leading search engine, Baidu, is working on a Chinese language bot similar to ChatGPT…”

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