When Microsoft first invested in OpenAI, perhaps it didn’t expect ChatGPT to be so popular? However, for the development prospect of generative AI, it is obviously very optimistic. Otherwise, it will not continue to invest in OpenAI. OpenAI has actually become an enterprise controlled by Microsoft, from $1 billion to $2 billion, to $10 billion now.
1. The popularity of ChatGPT makes Microsoft see business opportunities
When the market is in a very hot period, Microsoft obviously does not want ChatGPT to be just a question and answer intelligent robot for people to “entertain”. Microsoft hopes to realize realization through ChatGPT, which may also be an attempt to launch the new version of Bing. The introduction of Bing, a generative artificial intelligence, is naturally expected to achieve rapid return on investment. This is the same as the idea after Facebook launched the concept of metauniverse at the beginning, but Meta, which changed its course, did not realize the rapid transformation of revenue, and the popularity of the concept of metauniverse did not actually convert into profit.
Meta is obviously dissatisfied. Perhaps it is to learn from Facebook’s experience. With the popularity of ChatGPT, Microsoft first thought of how to realize it quickly. Microsoft is very smart to target the search business that people rely on very much and gain advertising revenue through search.
This is why Google was the first one to be frightened after ChatGPT became popular. Because the popularity of ChatGPT may overturn people’s perception of search engines, or an emerging receptivity, which is a change from passive to active, and ChatGPT can also give some opinions or suggestions, not simple content output, which is different from before.
When Microsoft started to layout ChatGPT application with great fanfare, Google also launched its own response strategy in time, but Bard didn’t make the first shot. It is believed that Google will not stop. On the contrary, more investment may continue. How dare Google take it lightly for ChatGPT, which wants to choke its own fate.
2. Google actively responds to the competition of ChatGPT
In fact, the competition between the two sides is already on the way. However, the more cunning Microsoft does not plan to completely defeat Google’s market, but just wants to take advantage of ChatGPT’s preemptive advantage to improve the advertising revenue in the search market. Therefore, we see that Microsoft is contacting advertisers and hopes to add more advertising content to the new version of Bing. It is reported that Microsoft has contacted with the advertiser Horizon Media, and the two sides plan to launch advertisements in cooperation.
More importantly, advertisers can also accept this, because the switching of hot spots has a certain leading effect. If they can seize the first opportunity, it may be immeasurable to expand their reputation and influence. The place to try is to place advertisements in the space below the response generated by AI. Microsoft also said that every 1 percentage point increase in the search market share would earn an additional $2 billion a year. This is also a strategy for Microsoft to launch the new version of Bing in time after ChatGPT became popular.
However, in order to cope with the “crisis” of Bing’s retrieval of a large number of intelligent conversations, that is, to reduce errors as much as possible, Microsoft said that the company would implement some dialog restrictions on Bing AI. For example, chatting with them will be limited to 50 questions per day; 5 replies to each question; In addition, Bing AI will not talk about itself. This restriction is made because of the fear of making mistakes. Microsoft has also said that a long chat conversation with 15 or more questions may confuse the Bing model, leading to Bing giving repeated answers, or being provoked to make a response that is not necessarily helpful.
Microsoft hopes to make a new attempt at the advertising business in the search market, which is a simple change from the past. In traditional search ads, users will first enter search keywords, and advertisers will buy these keywords, so that their product images or official website addresses can appear in the search results. Now, Microsoft plans to insert past search ads into the reply content of the conversation robot.
3. Will the changes in the search market change immediately?
Google has seen the pressure and is actively responding to it. If Microsoft can immediately bring a revolutionary change to the search market with ChatGPT, it may be too early. This is a gradual process. Just like the original idea of the universe was also popular for a while, many enterprises followed up, but now it seems that many have also made adjustments. The landing of the metauniverse is not as simple and direct as imagined.
Microsoft’s attempt is also gradual. It first introduces more advertising cooperation, and then improves its position in the search market and its ability to make money. Microsoft will let Bing’s AI response directly give the answer that the advertiser wants to give. This kind of implantation may be more explicit, but such implantation will violate the fairness of AI itself, similar to a kind of bidding ranking. Whoever pays more money may let his advertisement be directly presented in the AI response. This has actually violated the original intention of ChatGPT. As Musk said, ChatGPT has become “utilitarian” and is no longer its original intention of free and open source.
Microsoft must have thought of its own ideas on how to make money. Microsoft also said that the advertising market potential of AI response is huge. At present, it is only the beginning. Microsoft plans to cooperate with partners and advertising industry in the future. Microsoft is still very optimistic about the future. When launching Bing Chat, Microsoft CEO Nadela said: “This is a new day in the search field, and fast innovation is coming. Just today, a game has really started.”
Under the aggressive attack of Microsoft, Google will obviously not “wait to die”, on the contrary, it can only stimulate greater technical potential. At Google’s performance meeting in the fourth quarter of 2022, Google announced that it would separately disclose the financial status of AI business in the next quarter. When Google feels the crisis, it will certainly go all out to deal with the crisis. In terms of generative AI, we may see more perfect presentations. As for advertising revenue, it may be just one of them.
We have also seen Baidu’s active participation in the domestic market. In fact, in addition to the layout of ChatGPT, the enthusiasm for AI participation in the domestic market is also very high. According to the data of Skyeye, up to now, there are more than 483000 robot-related enterprises in China, of which more than 128000 are newly registered in 2022, with a growth rate of 36.9%. Guangdong ranks first in the region with more than 99000, and Jiangsu and Shandong rank second and third respectively. As for the layout of robots, many enterprises are also involved in the field of artificial intelligence. Will emerging intelligent robots become more diversified due to the emergence of ChatGPT?