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Post: OpenAI revs up plans for web search, but denies report of an imminent launch

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OpenAI revs up plans for web search, but denies report of an imminent launch
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Enlarge Aurich Lawson | Getty Images OpenAI is eventually coming for the most popular website on the Internet: Google Search. A Reuters report claimed that the company behind ChatGPT is planning to launch a search engine as early as this Monday, but OpenAI denied that Monday would be the day.

The company recently confirmed it’s holding a livestream event on Monday, though, but an OpenAI rep told Ars that "Despite reports, we’re not launching a search product or GPT-5 on Monday." Either way, Monday is an interesting time for an OpenAI livestream. That’s the day before Google’s biggest show of the year, Google I/O, where Google will primarily want to show off its AI prowess and convince people that it is not being left in the dust by OpenAI. Google seeing its biggest search competition in years and suddenly having to face down "OpenAI’s Google Killer" would have definitely cast a shadow over the show.

OpenAI has been inching toward a search engine for a while now. It has been working with Microsoft with a " Bing Chat " generative-AI search engine in Microsoft’s search engine. Earlier this week, The Verge reported that "OpenAI has been aggressively trying to poach Google employees" for an upstart search team. "Search.chatgpt.com" is already being set up on OpenAI’s server, so it’s all falling into place.

When the launch of OpenAI search does happen, one thing to really watch for is what types of search queries it can handle. Right now, ChatGPT can really only replace search queries that are questions. The primary reason Google Search is the No. 1 most visited website is not answers to questions; it’s because many people use Google as their gateway to the Internet. Here’s a list of the top Google queries; most of them are not questions, they are other websites. The No. 1 Google query is "youtube," No. 2 is "facebook." Also in the top 10 are "amazon," "gmail," "instagram," and "whatsapp web," and truly sad is No. 16, where people go to Google and search for "google" to get the homepage. That link is a top-100 list, […]

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