Let the search wars commence! Yesterday Microsoft (who invested $10Bn in ChatGPT owner OpenAI) launched the “new Bing” search engine powered by upgraded ChatGPT AI. Not to be outdone, Google has announced that they will launch Bard, an experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA – their own conversational AI.

Microsoft says that their new Generative AI-enhanced search engine will differ from a regular search engine by consolidating reliable sources across the web to give you a single, summarised answer.

Leveraging the frictionless experience of ChatGPT, you can search using conversational language such as “Write a poem that rhymes for my 8-year-old Jake. He loves dogs and facts about the ocean.”

Bing will also be able to be used as a creative tool to help you write poems, stories, or even share ideas for a project.

Bing’s AI chat interface is at the moment very limited to canned queries and you can sign up for a waitlist to gain early access, while Google says that the Bard tool will be released to specialist product testers this week, ahead of a wider release.

The speed at which the two search giants have revealed plans to upgrade their search engines is extraordinary.

The success of ChatGPT and its widespread availability have allowed users of all kinds to experience a better way to ask for and organise information.

In turn, this has lead Microsoft (via their very savvy investment in OpenAI) to size the advantage to redefine how search works.

What does this mean for the end user?

A positive shift would be a more extensive way to find the information we need, rather than wrangling search engine prompts.

What will be interesting is how both Google and Microsoft embed advertising into these offerings.

Until now, you would buy advertising against specific search terms such as “futurist presenter”. A more nuanced approach would be needed for a chat-like interface and response from a Generative AI powered search engine.

Actionable steps for you to take:

1. If you haven’t already, sign up to ChatGPT and play with the interface

2. Join the Bing AI version preview via their website

3. Watch Google catch up

Exciting times ahead, and it makes my job as a Futurist presenter easier when it comes to explaining the power of AI for companies, as it is now very easy to explain how Generative AI tools work with text, images, video and even code.