AI news
May 12, 2024

OpenAI is working on a Google Search alternative

Is this the end of Google Search?

Jim Clyde Monge
by 
Jim Clyde Monge

Google’s reign as the leading search engine technology was recently challenged by Perplexity, a company that aims to revolutionize the way we search for information on the internet using the power of large language models. With only a few dozen employees, they have already amassed more than 10 million monthly active users, which is hugely impressive considering the dominance of Google in the search engine market.

Google has been under heavy criticism recently for its search results being flooded with ads and sponsored content. It seems like Google is allowing every site out there to jockey for a prime spot and rake in more revenue, which has led to a decline in the quality and relevance of search results for users. It’s a frustrating experience for users who are simply trying to find the information they need without being bombarded by ads and irrelevant content.

To make matters even worse for Google, another tech giant, OpenAI is reportedly working on a new search engine that’s set to challenge both Google and Perplexity. The feature is likely to be announced on Monday.

What is OpenAI Search?

The search function is likely to be an extension of OpenAI’s flagship product, ChatGPT. Currently, ChatGPT can already search the web, but it can’t pull in real-time information and include citations — the new search feature could fix this issue.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Other leaks suggest that OpenAI is going to call it SearchGPT.

It will be released in the form of an AI agent, which aside from text, will also support image search, widgets (weather, calculator, sports, finance, and timezone difference), and an option to ask follow-up prompts.

Eagle-eyed users were able to spot some information to back up these claims, which has only added to the excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming announcement.

Image by X user Tibor Blaho

Here’s a preview of SearchGPT in action:

UPDATE 5/12/2024

Before we get too excited about the new search function in ChatGPT, Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO, has debunked all the speculations in a tweet, saying

not gpt-5, not a search engine, but we’ve been hard at work on some new stuff we think people will love! feels like magic to me.

This tweet has left many people scratching their heads and wondering what exactly OpenAI has in store for us.

While it may not be GPT-5 or a search engine, it’s clear that the company has been working on something special. According to the latest leaks, these are the details of OpenAI’s new models:

  • Voice assistant with some agent capabilities (customer service, tutoring, etc)
  • Audio and visual features in one model
  • Up to 50% discounts in new pricing model for pre-payment -GPT5 is not here yet, but may be launched this year
Image by X user nicdunz

Again, these are merely leaks and should be taken with a grain of salt until we hear an official announcement from OpenAI.

Final Thoughts

While some assume that this is the end of Perplexity, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Perplexity has a unique approach to search, using multiple AI models including Claude Opus 3, GPT4, etc., which could help it maintain a competitive edge even in the face of new challengers like OpenAI.

It’s also too early to assume that Google is already doomed. Google IO is just around the corner, and the company could be announcing updates and new features for its search engine that could help it stay ahead of the competition.

The bottom line is, that the real winners in this tighter competition are us, the users. Google has monopolized the search market for years, and now it’s time for other players to finally get their piece of the pie. With more options and innovation in the search engine market, we can expect better quality results, more user-friendly features, and a better overall search experience.

One thing is for sure: the search engine market is about to get a whole lot more interesting.