Leaked details have emerged about Google’s generative AI plans ahead of its annual I/O conference.
At Google I/O 2023, which takes place this Wednesday, the company is expected to share major AI announcements to contend with Microsoft and OpenAI amidst the ongoing “AI arms race.” Information shared with CNBC(opens in a new tab) and The Wall Street Journal(opens in a new tab) provides details about Google’s plans to unveil a new version of its large language model, updates to its AI chatbot Bard, and generative AI features for Google’s search engine. The overarching message is reportedly how AI can help people achieve their full potential.
This is a big moment for Google. After ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022 prompted a “code red(opens in a new tab),” and Microsoft announced its own GPT-4 powered Bing chatbot, Google has scrambled to catch up with its competitors and hold its position as the top dog in search. A botched launch of its AI chatbot Bard and ethical concerns about rushing to develop AI tools have only raised the stakes. The AI tools and features that Google announces tomorrow could be make-or-break when it comes to maintaining the company’s status as the rightful wearer of the tech industry crown (sorry, coronation still on the brain).
Here’s what we might see at tomorrow’s Google I/O:
PaLM 2 unveiled
According to CNBC, Google is announcing a new version of its LLM called PaLM 2. The earlier model, PaLM, which was released in 2022, is what powers Google’s AI chatbot Bard. So with a more advanced LLM, we can expect Bard to improve as well. PaLM 2 reportedly includes over 100 languages and has been tested with coding, math, creative writing, and analysis.
Updates to Bard and Search
Per CNBC, Google is also reportedly working on a multimodal version of Bard, which means it can support multimedia input and output. It’s also reportedly working on larger versions of the chatbot internally called “Big Bard” and “Giant Bard.”
The possible announcement that will impact everyday users the most is an overhaul of its traditional search format. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Google is planning to make the search process more conversational, with follow up prompts and contextual information for queries that “can’t be easily answered by traditional web results.” This might include user-generated content from TikTok and other posts from social media creators. In case you didn’t know, Gen Z basically uses TikTok as a search engine instead of Google. So this is a clear attempt to corral younger users back into the fold.
The conversational feature in search is code-named “Magi,” and was revealed back in April, but with few details. Now we have a more concrete idea of what it would look like. How it relates to Bard, or whether it’s technically the same thing as Bard, just moved to the search page, isn’t clear yet.
New features for Workspace
In March, Google announced generative AI features for Google Workspace and Gmail, which included a tool for drafting text in Google Docs and composing emails. Now, it is reported that Google will announce AI integrations for Google Slides and Google Sheets. Per CNBC, Slides will come with a tool to generate images based on text prompts and Sheets will use AI to generate spreadsheet templates. There was no specific mention of Google Docs and Gmail in the leaks, but Google I/O would be a fitting time to share further updates, so we’re not writing it off yet.