Adam Hardej

Feb 09, 2023·Newsletter

AI Search Knife Fight

AI Search Knife Fight

In the left corner, weighing in at 8.5 billion searches per day... You used it so much it became a verb. The undefeated heavyweight champion of the world... GOOGLE!!! ***boooo***

And in the right corner... Down but not out. Forgotten but not disheartened. Your grandmother's favorite search engine. The sparkle in Satya's eye. Weighing in at only 900 million searches per day... Don't call it a comeback... BING!!!!! ***crowd goes wild***

We're only a couple of minutes into the first round, but Microsoft definitely seems to be punching above their weight class as Bing - that other search engine you've heard of but never use - takes tech water cooler conversations by storm. Their new OpenAI powered search is still in beta/waitlist mode, but you can check out how it works here.

Everyone is excited about the new Bing and Microsoft is being rooted for like they're some small startup banging on the door of Google's supremacy.

Meanwhile, at Google, a "code red" was declared in December as leadership accessed the risk this new AI powered competition poses. Just this week they launched Bard - their version of an AI assisted search.

And then - in a dramatic turn of events - Google screwed up the demo.
More specifically, they example prompt create a response with inaccurate information. You can see a gif of that prompt and answer here.

All of this has led to billions of market value gained and lost. Microsoft is up a whopping 17% this month. Google is down 8% in the last 5 days.

There's a lot to talk about here, but overall I think this is super exciting for tech as a whole.

You've probably noticed - but it's pretty rough out there. Layoffs. Funding slowed. Predictions of a slow recovery.

Tech needed this to get people excited again. A head to head battle of giants at the frontier of what computers can do. Talent poaching. Big price swings. Unimaginable amounts of resources being shoveled into the battle for search. May the best innovation win.

This is the type of storyline that inspires builders to push the limits of what tech can do and I think it's a welcomed change after years of seemingly unshakeable big tech dominance. I Microsoft a startup pirate ship? Not necessarily. But it's a step in the right direction and I think it will have ripple affects on the startup ecosystem as a whole

And then - at the center of it - you have Satya Nadella (Microsoft's CEO) who went from coporate-status-quo-guy to a Steve-Jobs-esque tech leader over the course of an afternoon. Don't buy it? Here's a Satya quote from his interview with Decoder yesterday:

"I've been at it for 20 years and I've been waiting for it... [Google] is the 800 pound gorilla on this... and I hope that with our innovation they will definitely want to come out and show that they can dance and I want people to know that we made them dance." - King Satya (full interview here)

The stage is set for an epic battle and I'm looking forward to it.

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