How ChatGPT has triggered a Generative AI race between Google and Microsoft

ByVertika Kanaujia
Mar 15, 2023 09:54 PM IST

Microsoft's ChatGPT and Google's Bard AI are battling it out for AI supremacy, with both facing bugs and criticism. Both companies have now launched improved versions of their products, while Google announced upcoming generative AI features GPT-4 promises advanced creativity but the battle raises concerns about the reliability of AI chatbots for widespread consumer adoption.

In just a few months, ChatGPT has made generative artificial intelligence mainstream, pushing tech giants to the edge, forcing business leaders to jump on the AI bandwagon and triggering a battle of one-upmanship between Alphabet's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadela. Even as Microsoft decided to join hands with the fast evolving technology, Google, didn't want its hegemony to be questioned by a fairly new entrant in the field, chose to fight out with its own version.

A smartphone with a displayed ChatGPT logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken February 23, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration(REUTERS)
A smartphone with a displayed ChatGPT logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken February 23, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration(REUTERS)

Google's nearly quarter-century supremacy over the World Wide Web is being questioned, with Microsoft racing to revamp a familiar web tool into a gateway with a new form of artificial intelligence. After launching the "new Bing" in collaboration with ChatGPT, Microsoft saw a surge in daily users to 100 million, with its Chat feature pushing the search engine over that milestone.

After Microsoft's ChatGPT acquisition Google was quick to thrown its hat in the ring for a battle of wits by announcing Bard, a conversational service powered by artificial intelligence and aiming to evolve it services by explaining complex subjects in simple terms for a child to understand and even perform routine tasks like tips to plan a party. “Bard can be an outlet for creativity, and a launchpad for curiosity," Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai states. But it was called ‘Un-Googly’ for its hasty launch and company losing $100bn in stock value. How accurately will Bard make Pichai's dreams a reality is for time to tell, for now, accuracy of the content is not close to reality.

AI critic Gary Marcus, in a blog post states he would always remember February 8, 2023, as the day in which a chatbot-induced hallucination cost Alphabet $100 billion. 'The two mega-companies both demoed prototypes, neither fully ready for public use, built around apparently comparable technology, facing apparently similar bugs, within a day of each other,” he wrote. “Yet one demo was presented as a revolution, the other as a disaster.' he added.

A month after their first launch both the giants picked the same day to launch better versions of their products. Hours after Google launched new AI features Microsoft came out with GPT 4 in a surprise announcement.

Seen as a desperate attempt to catch up to competitors in the new AI race, Google announced a suite of upcoming generative AI features for its various Workspace apps, including Google Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and Slides. Meanwhile, GPT-4 promises to generate text that closely resembles human speech with advanced knowledge in three significant areas: creativity, visual comprehension, and context handling. It is claimed to be significantly better than its predecessor in terms of generating and collaborating with users on creative projects.

It's initial feedback looks promising with Warton Professor, Ethan Mollick, claiming OpenAI's new version has passed all key exams with flying colours. It has the ability to turn a hand-drawn sketch into a functional website. However in a detailed analysis by The New York Times GPT-4 still hallucinates, and makes stuff up as the systems do not have an understanding of what is true and what is not, so it ends up generating text that is completely false.

As the Generative AI battle plays out between the tech biggies larger questions around AI chatbot reliability will need to be addressed if widespread consumer adoption is to be expected and encouraged.


    Vertika Kanaujia is Editor Audience Growth at Hindustan Times and oversees the website’s coverage of business news, health, technology and internet culture. She is a Chevening Scholar and a Columbia Journalism University Fellow. Vertika has been a journalist for more than 18 years. After starting her career as a business journalist in TV she has worked with various leading news channels. You can email her at

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