Google fights back to stay ahead of Bing's A.I. It is only now but very swiftly and urgently, that the company is devising radical search changes to save its core business.

Google's employees were shocked when they learned in March that the South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung was considering replacing Google with Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine on its devices.

FOR YEARS, Bing had been a search engine also-ran. But it became a lot more interesting to industry insiders when it recently added new artificial intelligence technology.

Google's reaction to the Samsung threat was ''panic,'' according to internal messages reviewed by The New York Times. An estimated $3 billion in annual revenue was at stake with the Samsung contract. An additional $20 billion is tied to a similar Apple contract that will be up for renewal this year.

A.I. competitors like the new Bing are quickly becoming the most serious threat to Google's search business in 25 years, and in response, Google is racing to build all-new search engine powered by A.I. technology. It is also upgrading the existing one with A.I.features, according to internal documents reviewed by The Times.

The new features under the project name Magi, are being created by designers, engineers and executives working in so-called sprint rooms to tweak and test the latest versions.

The new search engine would offer a user a far more personalized experience than the company's current service, attempting to anticipate the user's needs.

Lara Levin, a Google spokeswoman, said in a statement that '' not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we've said before, we're excited about bringing new A.I. powered features to search and will share more details soon.''

Billions of people use Google's search engine every day for tasks as varied as finding restaurants and understanding medical diagnosis, and that simple white page with the company logo and an empty bar in the middle is one of the most widely used web pages in the world.

Changes to it would have a significant effect on the lives of the ordinary people, and until recently it was hard to imagine anything challenging it.

Google has been worried about A.I. powered competitors since OpenAI, a San Francisco start-up that is working with Microsoft, demonstrated a chatbot called ChatGPT in November. About two weeks later, Google created a task force in its search division to start building A.I. products, said two people with knowledge of the efforts, who were not authorized to discuss them publicly.  

Modernising its search engine has become an obsession at Google, and the planned changes could put new A.I. technology in phones and  homes all over the world.

Jim Lecinski, a former Google vice president for sales and service, said the company had been goaded into action and now had to convince users that it was as '' powerful, competent and contemporary '' as its competitors.

'' If we are the leading search engine and this is a new attribute, a new feature, a characteristic of search engines, we want to make sure that we're in this race as well,'' Mr. Lecinski, a professor of marketing at Northwestern University, said in an interview.

The Publishing of this Master Essay continues. The World Students Society thanks author Nico Grant, contributing reporter from Seoul, Karen Weise from Seattle and Tripp Mickle from San Francisco. 


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