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Business News/ News / World/  LaMDA vs ChatGPT: All you need to know about the Microsoft, Alphabet AI 'war'
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LaMDA vs ChatGPT: All you need to know about the Microsoft, Alphabet AI 'war'

A pledge to ‘focus on AI’ is par for the course in Big Tech right now, top companies including Microsoft and Google joining the race.

Attendees interact with the AI-powered Microsoft Bing search engine and Edge browser during an event at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, US, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Microsoft unveiled new versions of its Bing internet-search engine and Edge browser powered by the newest technology from ChatGPT maker OpenAI. Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)Premium
Attendees interact with the AI-powered Microsoft Bing search engine and Edge browser during an event at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, US, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. Microsoft unveiled new versions of its Bing internet-search engine and Edge browser powered by the newest technology from ChatGPT maker OpenAI. Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

As the ChatGPT craze continues, several other tech giants have joined the AI ‘war’. A pledge to “focus on AI" is par for the course in Big Tech right now, with top leaders waxing poetic about the many benefits it would bring to their own apps and softwares. Perhaps the most significant addition to the list is Google which made the announcement earlier this week after struggling for quite some time with ‘innovator’s dilemma’. 

Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai said on Thursday that Google would make its AI-based large language model known as LaMDA available “in the coming weeks and months" and that people could use it as “a companion to search."

Meanwhile, ChatGPT has partnered up with Microsoft to re-energise the Bing search browser, with the Satya Nadella-led company investing billions of dollars in OpenAI.

“If I were sitting on a lethargic search monopoly and had to think about a world where there was going to be a real challenge to the way that monetization of this works and new ad units, and maybe even a temporary downward pressure, I would not feel great about that," Altman had jibed recently - a not-so-subtle dig at Google. 

Nadella for his part has dubbed Google a '800 pound gorilla' while insisting that healthy competition was a positive thing.

While some reports have suggested that LaMDA could be ‘even better’ than ChatGPT the company has so far been loath to make it publicly accessible. The large-language model trained on billions of words on the public internet benefits from a broader array of research talent at Google and huge amounts of computing power. It also enjoys feedback from millions of users for constant fine-tuning.

One may recall that one of Google's own engineers had been convinced that LaMDA was sentient. 

But Google's ‘search monopoly’ and massive reach of 3.5 billion searches per day has driven fears that the company could cannibalize its own search results or make offensive remarks and wild mistakes.

As the AI race intensifies, the boss of Google's search engine also warned against the pitfalls of artificial intelligence in chatbots. In a newspaper interview published on Saturday, Prabhakar Raghavan spoke about AI ‘hallucinations’ - a phenomenon that has already been noted with ChatGPT conversations. 

"This kind of artificial intelligence we're talking about right now can sometimes lead to something we call hallucination. “This then expresses itself in such a way that a machine provides a convincing but completely made-up answer," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 11 Feb 2023, 06:53 PM IST
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