Tech companies race to launch AI chatbots

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 8 February 2023
Credit: Kai Wenzel via Unsplash

Tech conglomerates are racing to launch their own AI chatbots to enhance their search engines, following the global success of Open AI's ChatGPT.

This week Google announced its own AI service Bard and Bing will be powered by ChatGPT - both aim to enhance user searching.

While the underlying AI technology is open-source and has existed for several years, Chris Bower, CEO - dentsu solutions, told AdNews, the big shift has been the ability to train AI to understand unprecedented amounts of data which then creates such shockingly good answers to human questions.

Bower said: "For search engines, a natural language engine will be tremendously disruptive. Originally search engines were designed to help people find the right web pages, but user needs have largely evolved.

"Today’s search engines are good at interpreting natural language inputs, but the outputs are still (mostly) links to websites which may contain that information, but also contain advertisements.

"It will be interesting to see how the advertising and traffic models evolve when users no longer need to view a great number of web pages – they can just get the answer they want."

Google this week unveiled its own "experimental conversational AI service" Bard.

Powered by Google's Language Model for Dialogue Applications (or LaMDA for short), the company is making the tech up available to trusted testers ahead of making it more widely available to the public.

In a blog post, Sundar Pichai CEO of Google and Alphabet said: "Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models.

"It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses."

Bard will initially be released with Google's lightweight model version of LaMDA. This much smaller model requires significantly less computing power, enabling Google to scale to more users, and allowing for more feedback.

Similarly, Microsoft is also capitalising on the success of ChatGPT.

However, instead of Microsoft developing its own AI, the company has announced its third phase of financial commitments into the AI startup ChatGPT - with the investment rumoured to be $10 billion.

Microsoft is launching a ChatGPT-powered Bing experience today as a “limited preview” on desktop.

Users have a limited number of queries that you can use with it, but you will be able to sign up for full access soon.

Microsoft says it’s using conversational AI to create a new way to browse the web. Users will be able to chat to Bing like ChatGPT, asking questions and receiving answers in natural language.

And advertising agencies are catching on.

Ogilvy Paris has launched AI.Lab is a dedicated arm to harness and build upon expertise in AI to offer opportunities for brands, which already have the support of brands such as Nestlé, Accor and Tinder.

Ogilvy Paris has assembled and trained a team of art directors, copywriters, and creative technologists experimenting with how to make the best use of AI. Along with a legal team dedicated to answering questions of ethics and rights management posed using AI.

David Raichman, executive creative director at Ogilvy Paris, said: "Generative AIs are going to become a permanent part of our culture, they are disrupting creation and our means of expression.

"Many legal, ethical, and societal debates are emerging, and it is crucial for the agency to be part of them by bringing meaning to contribute to this inexorable revolution."

Chris Bower explains what these tech enhancements mean for agencies.

Bower: "For agencies, it’s critical to understand this technology and help clients manage through the disruption.

"That could mean disruption to conventional revenue and traffic models, per the above, or helping them think through how these new technologies can be used to enhance their own user experiences.

"Combining natural language responses with the breadth and depth of information these models are fed gives tremendous power to consumers to articulate what they want to know and do, then receive it in ways they understand and can action.

"That will challenge not only jobs for people writing basic communications but also anyone helping other people make decisions, which has far broader implications across customer journeys and experiences.

"Of course, nobody knows exactly how this will play out, how quickly and how people will react, but anybody with clients or customers should be seeking to understand and help shape that future."

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus