The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City
Senior Google engineer Luke Sernau suggests the company is in no position to beat other AI companies like OpenAI. Reuters

According to a senior Google engineer, the search giant's downfall is on the horizon. OpenAI's ChatGPT is taking the world by storm. Much to Google's chagrin, it is also changing how people search on the internet. Now, a considerable number of people and organisations rely on ChatGPT to perform a slew of complex tasks.

People would ideally browse through several websites to find information or gather data. The easy-to-use ChatGPT, on the other hand, provides all the information on a single page. While this AI-powered way of researching is exciting news for people, tech giants like Google aren't too pleased. Apparently, ChatGPT could give Google a run for its money.

ChatGPT poses a threat to Google's search engine dominance

It is no secret that OpenAI's widely popular AI bot could dethrone Google as the most popular search engine in the future. So, the American tech giant is sparing no effort to handle this threat. For instance, Google is reportedly planning to bring its own Bard AI to forthcoming Pixel devices. Regrettably, the company's current efforts do not seem to yield desired results.

To make things worse, Microsoft has also invested heavily in the company behind ChatGPT, which is a very intelligent AI chatbot. The AI bot can effortlessly respond to complex questions just like a human would. Unsurprisingly, there's a dip in the Google search engine's popularity, according to a report by The Street.

Google's answer to ChatGPT

With AI doing a commendable job of searching online, people aren't likely to prefer browsing through hundreds of web pages. So, the tech firm launched Google Bard to compete against OpenAI's chatbot. Interestingly, Google is one of the first companies to jump on the Artificial Intelligence bandwagon. However, the company isn't at the forefront of the AI space at the moment.

Moreover, there are some concerns at Google's headquarters in Mountain View California about the company's ability to remain relevant in the field of AI. An engineer of the group, Luke Sernau shared some of these doubts in a message that has been making the rounds internally since April. Notably, this internal message was published by SemiAnalysis earlier this month.

Sernau is reportedly concerned about the company's focus on locking horns with OpenAI. In fact, Google is so focused on this rivalry that it has started neglecting another dangerous competitor, the open-source community. To those unaware, the open-source community comprises researchers who aren't associated with any company.

Google isn't in a position to win the AI race

Still, the open-source community is making faster AI advancements compared to Google and the Microsoft-backed AI company, OpenAI. According to Sernau, Google should try to team up with the open-source community, rather than competing with OpenAI. "We've done a lot of looking over our shoulders at OpenAI. Who will cross the next milestone? What will the next move be?" he wrote.

Furthermore, Sernau points out that neither Google nor OpenAI is in a position to win this arms race. While the two companies have been trying to outperform each other, Sernau claims the open-source community has been making major discoveries in AI. He even noted that open-source communities are running foundation models on a Pixel 6 at an incredible speed.

In other words, Sernau suggests Google should be competing against the open-source community rather than OpenAI. These communities have been developing cheaper, faster, and easier-to-adapt AI models and tools lately. To make things worse for the tech behemoth, Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis believes human-level AI could be in the offing.

Google's models are better in terms of quality, but Sernau indicates that the gap is closing quickly. Open-source models are not only more customisable and private, but they are also faster and "pound-for-pound more capable," he argued. Sernau thinks the company's best hope is to draw inspiration from others outside Google and collaborate with them.

Aside from this, he notes that people aren't willing to pay for an AI model that is available for free somewhere else. Also, big companies are developing large models that are actually hampering the growth of AI. "The best models are those that we can quickly improve upon, he said."