May 24, 2024

sam altman sitting in a chair looking into the distance

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman during the APEC CEO Summit at Moscone West on November 16, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

OpenAI is reportedly planning to announce its artificial intelligence-powered search competitor to Google as early as Monday — a product that could threaten Google’s search engine dominance.

The timing of the announcement could change, Reuters reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. However, the plan for Monday comes a day before Google kicks off its annual I/O conference, where it’s expected to announce its own AI-powered products.

The AI-powered search engine would be an extension of OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, and allow people to search the internet through the chatbot and receive responses with cited sources, Bloomberg reported. OpenAI’s product would also serve as a competitor to AI search engine startup, Perplexity. The AI search engine would be partly powered by Microsoft Bing, and could be faster than ChatGPT, The Information reported. OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

OpenAI has previously tried providing ChatGPT access to updated and real-time information from the web through ChatGPT plugins, but the service was retired in April.

Meanwhile, Google is aware its search engine dominance is facing some strong competitors amid the AI boom. In April, Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google responsible for search, ads, commerce, and payments, told employees in Google’s knowledge and information team “things have changed,” from 15 to 20 years ago.

“It’s not like life is going to be hunky-dory forever,” he said in an audio recording obtained by CNBC. “If there’s a clear and present market reality, we need to twitch faster, like the athletes twitch faster.”

Google has held almost 92% of the search engine market as of February, and the search giant’s share of the market hasn’t fallen below 90% in a decade.

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