OpenAI through magnifying glass
OpenAI is reportely working on a search engine that will compete with Google Search. Wikimedia Commons

OpenAI is reportedly making its foray into the web search segment to challenge Google's search dominance.

While Google is reportedly gearing up for major search engine revisions this year, a new report suggests the search giant might face a formidable competitor, OpenAI.

According to The Information, OpenAI is "developing a web search product" that would bring the ChatGPT maker into "direct competition with Google". This piece of vital information has been shared by someone with "knowledge of OpenAI's plans".

On the downside, the new search service will "partly be powered by Bing". While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella previously claimed generative AI threatens Google's position as the world's most popular search engine, the arrival of ChatGPT on Bing has failed to dent Google's search empire so far.

Although Nadella expressed optimism about Bing's potential powered by AI, he acknowledged Google's dominance as the "800-pound gorilla" in search and stated his goal of challenging their position.

Unsurprisingly, Google's dominance has remained largely unchanged until now. So, it will be interesting to see whether OpenAI's new search app will offer something more transformative. The word on the street is that the Sam Altman-led AI startup is still trying to figure out whether the new search tool will run within ChatGPT or will be separate from the AI chatbot.

While ChatGPT is capable of answering questions like a human, it is not as fast as Google. On top of that, it relies heavily on Bing's search engine to find information. So, it is safe to assume that people might stick with Google for their searches.

Nevertheless, Google Search's dominance is facing mounting challenges from several new players vying for a piece of Google's pie. For instance, Perplexity AI recently became the internal search engine for the Rabbit R1.

More AI search engines are emerging

Google has been dropping major hints that it is planning to change the traditional search experience it offers in 2024. In line with this, the company recently added a toggle in its new Gemini Android app that allows you to switch from traditional Search to its new generative AI assistant.

Last year, Google even announced the release of AI Studio to remain relevant in the burgeoning AI market. Despite these efforts, the company has been a little slower in terms of bringing AI to its desktop experience. Also, Google has been keeping those "experimental" features in its Search Generative Experience (SGE) under wraps.

In the meantime, upstarts like Perplexity and OpenAI, which aren't at the forefront of the search business, are showcasing their new AI-powered search experiences, which are quite unique. For example, Perplexity does not display a list of results. Instead, it provides a written answer to your questions.

However, it is unclear whether AI search engines can replicate Google's financial success. A case in point: Neeva, founded by a former Google exec, shut down last year after finding that "building a search engine is hard".

The search engine landscape is experiencing significant changes this year, potentially leading to the emergence of Google's most formidable competitors in over two decades. Meanwhile, it looks like OpenAI has deviated its focus from the text-based world of search engines to creating 1-minute videos from text prompts.

OpenAI unveils Sora

The American AI company has unveiled a new AI model called Sora that can generate realistic-looking videos from just text prompts. "We're teaching AI to understand and simulate the physical world in motion, with the goal of training models that help people solve problems that require real-world interaction," the OpenAI Sora blog reads.

Altman showed what the tool can do via an X post, noting: "We'd like to show you what sora can do, please reply with captions for videos you'd like to see, and we'll start making some!" Several X users sent him prompts, and the results he shared look very realistic.