Will OpenAI’s ChatGPT Kill Google?

Over the last few days, OpenAI’s new ChatGPT chatbot has been making headlines and it’s probably hard to overestimate how much artificial intelligence is going to change our lives and the economy. So I asked OpenAI’s chatbot whether the recent developments of OpenAI represent a threat to Alphabet’s, so Google’s core business, Google Search, which as of September 30th represents around 60% of Alphabet’s total revenue. And according to the chatbot, Open AI is NOT a threat to search engines and Google in particular. But I don’t agree with the chatbot’s response and do think that chatbots have the potential to make Google Search obsolete. So is ChatGPT really going to kill Google’s core business Google Search? Or does Google have some advantages too that may help Google fend of competitors?

Screensaver footage: SVF TV – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqK9h1enC4NS4o3RSWwAz2Q

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So Search is an area that is dominated by Google Search which runs around 99,000 search queries per second, which adds up to a whopping 8.5 billion searches per day which represents a market share of around 92%. Over the last 9 months of Google’s 2022 fiscal year, the business generated $120 billion in revenue. But the Google Search business is possibly about to be disrupted by a new technology, namely, AI, large language models, and OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT that can read, summarize and translate texts and predict future words in a sentence letting it generate sentences similar to how humans talk and write. So let me just show you a couple of examples that highlight why chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT might actually represent a very real threat to the business behemoth Google. In fact, I find ChatGPT so useful that I’ve already let my iPhone create an App for it that is now located on my phone’s home screen and I’ve found myself using ChatGPT instead of Google multiple times already.

Now the problem with a chatbot like ChatGPT is that there are no longer links and the quality of the answers of ChatGPT is on average of higher quality and more time efficient than fighting your way through various links that provide content of varying quality. This creates a problem because of course you could argue that Google could just copy what ChatGPT does and integrate it into their services. But If there are no Google links, there is no monetization or maybe one can figure out some form of monetization but it might be less attractive. Now if we assume the results of a chatbot are harder to monetize, this puts Google in a dilemma. Sure Google is already spending billions itself on AI and its AI business division Deep Mind has come up with numerous programs that outperform humans. But even if Google could copy OpenAI’s ChatGPT, if monetizing the search results is harder, Google would cannibalize its own ad business, which as we know is why businesses are often reluctant to innovate. This is expressed in the innovators’ dilemma which is a concept developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen.

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○ OpenAI’s ChatGOT chatbot: https://chat.openai.com/chat


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