AIChatbot vs Google

Top Reasons why ChatGPT won’t replace Search Engines, yet

Is AI Chatbot a Threat to Google's Business Model?

1) Where Did You Get That?

When a user interacts with ChatGPT and receives a response, they are left in the dark about the origin of the information. Trust is a vital component of communication, not only in online marketing but in everyday life. Knowing >who to trust and why to trust a source are key factors in building credibility and ensuring accurate information In the realm of online marketing, trusted sources are commonly referred to as “gatekeepers” of the internet. Users tend to trust sources with a well-established brand, such as the New York Times or Forbes, over a lesser-known blog or website. Unfortunately, ChatGPT does not reveal the source of its information, leaving users with uncertainty and distrust. Unlike a search engine that presents a variety of sources, ChatGPT is a solitary source of information, limiting the user’s ability to verify the information’s accuracy. This lack of transparency undermines the user’s confidence in the information provided and highlights the need for greater transparency and credibility in ChatGPT.

2) Do I Know You?

Communication is a matter of understanding and trusting the person you are communicating with. From an emotional standpoint, your instincts have evolved over millions of years to guide you in identifying what’s right and wrong. If something feels off, your gut will often raise a red flag, and you’ll lose trust in the person you’re talking to.

However, when communicating with ChatGPT, this innate human instinct, which has long served as an impenetrable shield, is no longer applicable. As an AI chatbot, ChatGPT lacks the human qualities that inspire trust.

In contrast, more analytical people in the worlds of business and science tend to focus on the expertise and qualifications of those who provide them with advice. As a result, consultants often introduce themselves and their background before offering their services.

ChatGPT relies on a vast, obscured database, and the user has no way of identifying the source of the information. The user only sees a robotic interpretation presented in grammatically correct sentences. In contrast, a search engine results usually provides articles written by real authors who offer their background and credentials on their profile page. In conclusion, to build trust in ChatGPT, it is vital to create transparency and provide users with insight into the source of the information. This will help to foster a trusting relationship between the user and the chatbot, ultimately improving the overall user experience.

3) Just Looking for the URL …

It is a common misconception that users primarily seek answers to questions when using search engines. In fact, most users don’t enter questions into a search engine, nor do they want to.

According to ahrefs.com [1], the most common search phrases used on Google are website names. Users are simply trying to find the URLs of well-known websites, such as Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Google Translate, and the Costco Website. Although they could type in the URL themselves, it’s easier to avoid spelling errors and suffixes like “.com” by relying on Google’s results.

Unfortunately, ChatGPT wouldn’t allow you to simply type in “Walmart” to find the website’s URL, as the chatbot expects a question. This defeats the purpose of quickly and easily finding a website’s URL. Instead, ChatGPT might misunderstand the user’s intention and provide information on Walmart instead.

Other search queries include finding restaurants, items to buy, news, or travel, where the user isn’t looking for a lengthy response, but a simple list of options to choose from.

Users also prefer to explore different options by entering different numbers into form fields, such as loan calculators. For these users, a lengthy conversation with an AI bot is not what they’re looking for; they want to enter their preferences and hit “show me.”

It’s important to note that ChatGPT is designed to facilitate conversation, and there are other tasks for which it may not be best suited.

4) Current Events

One of the biggest challenges facing AI chatbots in the coming decades is twofold:


Speed

The ability to respond quickly to questions and access real-time data is crucial for AI chatbots  such as ChatGPT. Natural Language Processing is currently one of the most sophisticated fields in information technology. However, even with high processing computer technologies, AI systems struggle to process big data in a timely manner.

ChatGPT’s experience we have today is a prime example. Its database was last updated in 2021, and there is a reason why it hasn’t been updated recently: behind the scenes is an enormous calculation effort to make this vast amount of data retrievable by the chatbot. It can take weeks, if not months, to render the database and provide responses.

Real-time information retrieval is the AI’s biggest challenge when it comes to fast responses. Even a simple question such as “weather forecast” can be a difficult task for an AI chatbot. Not only does it have to access the information in real-time like search engines do, but it must also interpret that information and translate it into natural language processing. It’s much easier for the AI when the database has been pre-rendered weeks or even months ago.

Although theoretically possible, it remains to be seen whether AI chatbots such as ChatGPT will ever be able to respond to real-time events and questions like the weather. Moreover, building the tremendous amount of servers and calculation power required to achieve this goal is a significant challenge.

Server Infrastructure

Google can respond to a question like “weather forecast” in milliseconds, an almost miraculous feat by today’s standards. With 90 million people typing “weather” alone every day, the sheer volume of queries that search engines must handle is immense. For a company to catch up to what Google has built would be a monumental undertaking, and the economic challenges associated with it will be significant.
 
In conclusion, while there are theoretical possibilities for future developments in AI chatbots such as ChatGPT, the challenges of real-time data processing and server infrastructure will continue to be significant hurdles for the foreseeable future.

What are the Chances of AI replacing Google?

The challenges that ChatGPT faces in the coming decades are significant, but they don’t necessarily spell the end for search engines like Google. History shows us that the best products or innovations don’t always conquer the market simply based on their merits; winners often have the best economic strategy, the ability to create and lead markets, and massive sales.

While AI is already a part of our daily lives and will undoubtedly become even more prevalent, it’s unrealistic to assume that ChatGPT as a standalone product will replace search engines and make Google’s business model obsolete. There is no indication or trend that shows such a development happening as of today, and the outcome of such a scenario is unknown as of 2024.

Instead, it’s more likely that search engines like Google will continue to develop their own AI capabilities. They’ll monitor the current AI developments and trends, adjust their own strategies accordingly, and potentially add new features to their platforms. This is the more likely scenario when considering how tech giants like Google have grown and evolved over time.

In the worst-case scenario, Google has the financial power to acquire new technologies and companies, as it has done in the past with YouTube, Android, Boston Dynamics, and many more, including AI companies like API.ai in 2016.

In conclusion, while AI chatbots will undoubtedly play a larger role in our lives, the future of search engines remains secure, and they will continue to develop and evolve in response to changing technology trends.

This Should Be Funny

To make this more interesting I went ahead after my research and asked ChatGPT itself this question: “Tell me 10 reasons why AI Chatbots won’t replace Google?” This is what ChatGPT responded:
  • Google has a vast amount of indexed data and sophisticated algorithms for searching and organizing it, which chatbots do not currently have the capability to match.
  • Google provides a wide range of services beyond just search, such as email, calendar, and document creation, which chatbots are not equipped to provide.
  • Google’s search results are constantly updated and refined, whereas chatbot responses are based on pre-programmed rules and data.
  • Google can understand natural language queries and provide relevant results, while chatbots are limited to predefined commands and keywords.
  • Google can provide personalized search results based on a user’s browsing history and preferences, while chatbots typically provide generic responses.
  • Google can perform complex tasks such as calculations and conversions, which chatbots may not be able to do.
  • Google is able to show multimedia search results like images and videos, which chatbots can’t.
  • Google allows multiple users to access and collaborate on documents and files, while chatbots are generally limited to one user at a time.
  • Google is constantly improving its search algorithms and adding new features, whereas chatbots can only improve as quickly as they are programmed and updated.
  • Google has a wide range of third-party developers, who can create new apps and services that integrate with Google, whereas chatbots are limited to the capabilities of their developers.

However, when asking ChatGPT the opposite question “Tell me 10 reasons why AI Chatbots will replace Google?“, it provided me with this response.

However, many of those information provided seem to be either wrong or need some commenting. Find my comments below the bullet points in red.

  • AI chatbots can provide more personalized and conversational interactions with users, making the search experience more human-like.
  • Chatbots can be integrated into various platforms and devices, making them accessible through a variety of channels such as messaging apps, voice assistants, and websites.

What ChatGPT is referring to is the ability to connect to other devices throughout an API. Google has been able to do that for years, but it has not been the policy of Google to allow third-party providers to access their database for many reasons. Indeed, ChatGPT’s AI power to grow could be to rely on the usage of other innovative companies that are interested in sublicensing the Open AI core engine.

  • Chatbots can provide immediate and real-time responses to user queries, whereas Google may not always have the most up-to-date information.

At this point ChatGPT is contradicing its first statement. This information is also not true.

  • Chatbots can provide a more interactive and engaging experience for users, as they can hold a conversation and offer suggestions based on user inputs.

That’s a game Google has been playing for quite some long where we can assume that Google is much better in doing this as of now than any AI Chatbot.

  • Chatbots can be programmed to understand natural language queries and provide relevant results, similar to Google.

Being similar to Google is not a good argument when the question was “will it replace Google?”

  • Chatbots can be trained on specific domains or industries, providing more specialized and accurate search results.

What ChatGPT is referring to is called a “Focus Crawler”. Google has included Focus Crawling to their Topic Detection Algorithm years ago. That way Google already knows which industry, topic, and niches have different ways of displaying knowledge, data, and therefore it displays in different ways. Focus Crawling has lead to what Google calls Widgets in their resuls  — many of them even interactive — that Google will show in their results.

I haven’t seen ChatGPT  utilizing any Focused Crawlers to display Knowledge in different ways, yet.

  • Chatbots can be integrated with other AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to improve search results.

Yes, definietely a plus point for ChatGPT. However, this is the same response as before.

  • Chatbots can be used to automate repetitive tasks such as customer service inquiries, freeing up human resources for more complex tasks.

Very true. Thats also the same response as before where third-party providers can access its database on a licence basis.

  • Chatbots can be used in a multi-language setting, making them accessible to a wider range of users.

This is not a USP. Google operates in 219 countries as of 2024. It’s unlikely that this feature of ChatGPT would be the competitive edge.

  • Chatbots can be used to continuously learn and improve their responses based on user interactions, making them more efficient over time.

Google’s team is data-driven, and real humans improve the Search Engine accordingly based on that data. ChatGPT works the same way but with a much lesser development team.

Note that ChatGPT does not incorporate the input provided by users into its core database. Instead, it adds it to your discussion and account. This means that even with millions of users interacting with ChatGPT, its core database doesn’t get updated. If a user corrects a piece of incorrect information, ChatGPT will only remember it for that user, not for others. Unlike Wikipedia, where users can update information, ChatGPT requires a human touch to feed new information into its database with upcoming updates.

Interestingly, when you ask ChatGPT how it works, it will tell you its capabilities and limitations. This provides valuable insight into how the AI chatbot operates and what it can and cannot do. 

While AI chatbots are changing the way we interact with technology, they still require human input to learn and evolve, highlighting the importance of human and machine collaboration.

Resources:

[1] ahrefs.com/blog/top-google-searches/

About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. William Sen CEO and founder of blue media

William Sen has been an SEO since 2001 and is a Software Engineer since 1996, and has been working as an Associate Professor in Germany for the University of Dusseldorf and Cologne. He has been involved in developing custom SEO tools, large website and software projects. William has a PhD in Information Sciences and has worked for brands such as Expedia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bayer, Ford, T-Mobile and many more. He is the founder of blue media.

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