How A.I. has Impacted Search Engines and How A.I. Impacts Your Business

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12 minute reading time for “How A.I. has Impacted Search Engines and How A.I. Impacts Your Business” 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now 8 months old (not really, but ChatGPT is).  Let’s talk about where we’ve gone and where we’re going now that AI is at the world’s fingertips.  More importantly, let’s talk about the ways you can use this information to help your business! 

And self-high-five for not using AI to write this…ugh I wish I had, this took foreverrrrrr

Early on, a lot of customers were asking something like, “how can I make sure that AI will send people to my business?”  Some were asking, “is SEO still going to be relevant with AI available?” Others asked, “are PPC ads still going to be helpful to my business now that there’s AI?”

Short answers to those questions are:

A) ChatGPT doesn’t currently access the internet so you’d see something like this:

B) Alexa and Siri are both essentially AI platforms- the best way to make sure that you show up on their robot radars is to have your business listings updated and monitored.

C) ChatGPT indeed has a bajillion users going to it (60M/day) but search engine traffic has not skipped a beat.

What’s happened with AI so far?

Sampling of headlines from the first five months of 2023 include:
  • “Google is freaking out about ChatGPT”

The Verge, January 20 2023

  • “Microsoft’s Bing finally has a chance to take a bite out of Google with ChatGPT. But it has to move fast.”

Business Insider February 7 2023

  • “OpenAI tech gives Microsoft’s Bing a boost in search battle with Google.”

-Reuters, March 22

  • “When Will ChatGPT Replace Search? Maybe Sooner Than You Think”

PC Mag, April 12 2023

  • “Bing Is Already Taking Market Share From Google. Time to Sell Alphabet Stock?

This Motley Fool article from April 21 2023 goes on to say,

  • “One key Google partner may be switching from Google to Bing. Here’s what it means for Alphabet.” 

In May, allBusiness wrote an article titled,

  • “Will ChatGPT Kill Google? What AI Means for the Future of Search”
AI-generated image of robots getting excited about AI

As recently as 3 months ago, the end of Google’s reign on search was not only a possibility but an inevitability.  Samsung was considering a switch to Bing as the default search engine.  Bard, Google’s answer to ChatGPT (which is funded partially by Microsoft) was a failure.  At least it seems like it since no one’s talking about it.    

So, where are we today?  Is using search engines a thing of the past?  Is Google on its deathbed with Bing standing over it smiling a robot smile? 

Far from it. 

Google got a “kick in the tooshie” to get their game up.  Samsung didn’t switch to Bing.  In fact, for the first-time since its rapid introduction and ascent, last month the usage and website traffic of ChatGPT actually dropped by 10% in the US (but still has more traffic than Bing).  It wasn’t just ChatGPT though, AI usage as a whole dropped- take a look at this graph from similar web:

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest news and what impacts your business.

What’s currently happening with AI and how is it impacting search?

You may be surprised to hear that Bing usage isn’t up that much.  Take a look at this chart below:

Headlines from the last month include:

  • “ChatGPT suddenly ‘isn’t booming anymore,’ Google A.I. researcher says—and kids are the big problem”

Fortune, July 6 2023

  • “ChatGPT’s accuracy in solving basic math declined drastically, dropping from 98% to 2% within just a few months, study finds”

Tech Startups, July 20 2023

DALL·E-a sad robot reading the newspaper on his front porch
a sad AI powered robot reads the news

That last article (and tons of other places) stated, “The tool had an accuracy rate of 26% in detecting AI-written texts, but it also mislabeled 9% of human-written text as AI-generated.”

Sounds like these robots ain’t so smart after all, are they? 

Problems with ChatGPT

Don’t get me wrong, ChatGPT is extremely powerful. Especially when you know how to use it; it can make your life a lot easier.  But like anything new, there’s a lot of room for growth.  Let’s talk about that a little more.

The biggest issue is that the knowledge and information that ChatGPT is pulling from is from no later than 2021– so any recent news is not going to be searched.  Not just because it’s limited to 2021, but it’s not even pulling from the world wide web.

Other issues include:

  • Accuracy– ChatGPT can give wrong information. It tends to sound confident despite being incorrect in some cases. Users are advised to fact-check.
  • There are well-documented biases
  • Can be used maliciously. For example, ChatGPT can be asked to write a medical advice article in the “style of a doctor” or craft legal documents that look “legit” (but aren’t actually written by a doctor or a lawyer).
  • It’s likely recording anything you ask or tell

So ChatGPT looked like it was going to do the unthinkable and dethrone Google.  Search engines were going to become obsolete, and Microsoft’s Bing would be the new Master of Search.  That didn’t happen.

That’s also a short-sided view when you really take a step back and look at it.  Why? 

Think about it this way- in the US alone, Google owns just shy of 89% of all search volume. Bing and Yahoo (they’re under the same brand) are about 9%, with DuckDuckGo taking about 2%.  How would Google be dethroned that quickly? 

Were people just going to stop their habit on a dime of using Google and go straight to ChatGPT?  Of course not.

But introducing AI to the public wasn’t a 9 (month) inning game that was being between two teams.  But GO CUBBIES!

It was just the beginning.

While the Search Engine battle will continue (in fact, Microsoft recently announced that Bing Search is now the default search engine for OpenAI’s ChatGPT), the longer game is the other impacts that AI has.

A slew of other software and products have been released before and since the introduction of ChatGPT.  In fact, the UAscend Social Media Manager was one of the first (if not the very first) products to feature built-in ChatGPT!

Examples of using AI for productivity or entertainment

Social Media

Let’s say that you’re like most business owners- you know you should be active on social media but it’s a chore that you ignore until you either don’t do it (and it stills weighs heavy on your mind), or you do it half-assed, or end up making one of your staff that you’re paying $40/hour (after benefits) take time away from something else they should be doing to spend an hour each day (or $40/day X 5 days/week= $800/month) to post to Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and your Google Business Profile. 

Which is something they either don’t know how to do or they’re young and hip and cool and now they’re just playing on Instagram for way longer than they should because heyyyy it’s addicting and they “needed to research” what to post. Now, you can just go to your UAscend Social Media Manager dashboard and:

  1. Tell AI what you need to write about:
UAscend Social Media Manager with built-in AI ChatGBT

2. Tell AI to generate an image for you:

UAscend Social Media Manager with built-in AI image generator

3. Schedule it to post on all social media platforms:

UAscend Social Media Manager with built-in AI Scheduling

And voilà, you’re done!

Windows Copilot   

On Windows 11, a new feature called Windows Copilot was recently launched.  It’s conveniently placed on the taskbar, making it easier than ever to access and enhance your productivity.

Imagine having an assistant that’s just one click away, ready to streamline your work.  

This video does a way better way of explaining it’s potential.

Other AI using platforms include Google Assistant, Cortana, FaceID (for iPhones) and Netflix.

ChatGPT vs. Bing Chat vs. Google Bard

When someone wants to use AI, they can go to ChatGPT, Bing or Google’s Bard.  Which one is best?

According to one article, “For what AI is currently safest, ChatGPT also takes the crown. Researching new topics with AI tools like Bard and Bing Chat is a recipe for disaster, as we’ve already seen, whereas ChatGPT is great for helping you write emails or come up with ideas. Bing Chat has the benefit of at least showing you sources, but its limited search volume is a big negative against it. So unless you need to focus on research, head over to ChatGPT and sign up.”

ChatGPT is the most talked about (and by far the most utilized) AI out there.  And frankly, it sure sounds like ChatGPT is the clear winner among the three choices, right? 

Not so fast.

ChatGBT vs. Bing Chat vs. Google Bard

Privacy: I don’t care what any of these companies tell you- just assume that anything personal or confidential should not be put into any of these.  A good measure is to pretend like there’s a file with all of your searches (kind of like their search engines) and your name is attached to them. 

Creativity: Start with ChatGPT> then Bing then try Bard under desperation or boredom situations

Logic: same as above.  ChatGPT>Bing>Bard.  Don’t assume anything is true though.

Images: ChatGPT is text only.  Bard can’t do it.  Bing Chat, however, can.  Bing has embedded Dall-E-2 (OpenAI’s AI-powered image generator) into Bing Chat so you can describe something and have images generated within seconds. 

I know what you’re thinking… I can just describe something, and it’ll generate an image based on my description???  YEEAHHHhHHHHHH!

Now I know what you’re thinking…it’s the same thing we’re all thinking….

“Can you generate an image of a horse jumping over the moon while a cow is in a field below looking up, very confused?”

Horse jumping over the moon while a confused cow stands and watches

Oooooh this is so fun let’s do another one!

“Can you show a very confused, well-dressed alien watching the news?”

Aliens reading the news

Overall: Bard (Google) is too far behind and currently not worth using.  ChatGPT is best for helping your write emails or come up with new ideas, and Bing chat takes ChatGPT to the next level by accessing the internet (and even provides sources).

The only caveat with the Bing AI is that it’s been known to act “weird,” to put things mildly.  And either because of this weirdness (examples include insulting the user or changing the subject) or because Microsoft is trying to save money, they are limiting daily usage to 10 chat sessions and 120 total chats per day.

What AI Means For Your Business Now

If you’re a brand or retailer or any type of small business that is considering, building or using AI in your business, how does ChatGPT/Bing Chat/Google Bard usage translate to your business? 

It doesn’t.

Joe Dirt talks business

Artificial Intelligence on the other hand, can have a significant impact in a positive way.

By using AI, your business’ potential to improve efficiencies, enhance the delivery of products and/or services to your client base will be vastly better through AI.   AI will soon be able to supplement or replace existing inventory protocols and make recommendations on what is trending. 

Heck, you can already upload business documents to get easier summaries and even provide historical revenue data to present seasonal predictions.  In the future, multi-location businesses will be able to determine inventory levels by location and at the specific price points the market will allow.

Much of what AI will do will be behind the scenes- your clients may not see it, but it will be (and already has started) being implemented.

Peace in your crease.

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