Google Already Had a ChatGPT Rival a Year Earlier, but Chose Not to Release It

by Jeow Li Huan

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While everyone is raving about ChatGPT today, Google already has a similar LaMDA chatbot back in May last year. Google chose not to release it because it had to be “more conservatively than a small startup” due to “reputational risk” posed by the technology. It is likely that LaMDA gives incorrect facts confidently, just like ChatGPT.

At the current stage of AI, it is prudent to use it for enhancing search results rather than as a chatbot directly.

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Google Assistant chatbot

By James Vincent on The Verge

Google won’t launch ChatGPT rival because of ‘reputational risk’

The launch of ChatGPT has prompted some to speculate that AI chatbots could soon take over from traditional search engines. But executives at Google say the technology is still too immature to put in front of users, with problems including chatbots’ bias, toxicity, and their propensity for simply making information up.

According to a report from CNBC, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Google’s head of AI Jeff Dean addressed the rise of ChatGPT in a recent all-hands meeting. One employee asked if the launch of the bot — built by OpenAI, a company with deep ties to Google rival Microsoft — represented a “missed opportunity” for the search giant. Pichai and Dean reportedly responded by saying that Google’s AI language models are just as capable as OpenAI’s, but that the company had to move “more conservatively than a small startup” because of the “reputational risk” posed by…

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