OpenAI reportedly working on a Google rival that will supercharge your searches

ChatGPT logo on phone in front of robot thinking
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has long been a dominant force in search engine technology, accounting for nearly 90% of global searches. As of late, it's been playing second fiddle to Microsoft's ChatGPT-enhanced Bing when incorporating AI-powered chatbots — but now, it could be lagging even further behind with the unveiling of OpenAI's latest development.  

As per Gizmodo, (via The Information) speculation that ChatGPT's masthead, OpenAI, was working on its own web search product began circling recently, although ''unnamed sources'' were cited, meaning this news should be taken with a pinch of salt. According to the report, the new service will be partly powered by Microsoft's search engine, Bing. Microsoft is OpenAI's biggest investor, funding $10 billion into the platform late last year. 

At present, AI-enhanced search engines can deliver summarized answers to relatively complex questions These search engines typically employ AI tools such as ChatGPT, Perplexity and Google’s Gemini language model to generate these answers. 

The report didn't specify whether the search engine would go hand-in-glove with ChatGPT or if it is separate altogether. However, the report did speculate that the search could have sprightlier capabilities than ChatGPT, but harness the platform’s detailed summarizing proficiencies.

This could be unwelcome news for Google, which is in the midst of rolling out Gemini (and Gemini Plus), its AI chatbot, across all products. According to TechCrunch, at the tail end of 2023, nearly 100 million people used ChatGPT every week, which, in turn, saw Google's search revenue drop in Alphabet's quarterly earnings report

In the report, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is "pleased with the ongoing strength in Search and… as we enter the Gemini era, the best is yet to come", — which could imply we have yet to see the full capabilities of Gemini or what Google has in store. 

Direct competitor for Gemini

Google Gemini logo

(Image credit: Google)

The development puts the chatbot giant into direct competition with Google, as the move comes a year after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, "[Google] is the 800-pound gorilla in [search]... And I hope that, with our innovation, they will definitely want to come out and show that they can dance. And I want people to know that we made them dance".

Microsoft was quick to integrate OpenAI's technology into Bing last year after the widespread popularity of ChatGPT. However, Microsoft's AI Bing chat encountered some unexpected issues, with users reporting some bizarre, unrelated responses to queries in the chat. This ultimately prompted the company to limit the length of responses in the chats.

So far, Gemini’s advanced capabilities seem to outweigh Bing’s enhancements, but offers some fierce competition to OpenAI’s most advanced model, GPT-4 Turbo. In a recent chatbot arena competition, Gemini Pro ranked second to GPT-4 Turbo, with the rest of the top five being OpenAI models.

The report did not specify when this new search engine would debut, and we will be sure to keep you updated if OpenAI’s development does go ahead. But for now, you can check out our latest AI news here.

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.