I/O 2023 marks Google’s monumental pursuit of AI excellence and Microsoft’s downfall

May 12, 2023

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Google I/O 2023 event was packed with a boatload of announcements, and most of them focused on artificial intelligence. And we’re not just talking about one or two: Google is now integrating it across its products and services, including Magic Editor, Workspace suite, Search, Play Store, and more. And to top it all, the search giant introduced a bunch of new AI creations, which further give it a boost in the AI race. This means a threat to Microsoft. 

More powerful LLM for better AI tools and features

It is no secret that Microsoft’s AI investments, thanks to OpenAI’s aid, caused Google to panic and announce a code red. According to reports, Alphabet even had to force a collaboration between Google’s Brain AI group and DeepMind and reorganized its Assistant team in hopes of focusing more on Bard. Now, Google’s efforts have come to fruition, which could be a huge blow for Microsoft.

During the I/O 2023 event, the company announced a slew of AI-centered creations. To start, Google finally unveiled its newest large language model (LLM), the PaLM 2. According to the company, this is the “foundation model” of most of the new AI features revealed by Google in the event, and it boasts improved code writing and debugging capability. One of Google’s creations being powered by PaLM 2 includes the Bard chat tool, which can now include images in its responses. Also, it seems Google is now prepared to better compete with ChatGPT after the company shared that it removed the waitlist for Bard and added support for Japanese and Korean. Even more, the search giant said there’s a plan to expand it to 40 languages in the future.

Aside from PaLM 2, Google also mentioned new AI models entering its Vertex AI service, including Imagen. It is a text-to-image model which can generate and edit images. As such, Google can use it to counter Microsoft’s Image Creator powered by DALL-E. And speaking of images, Magic Editor gets AI-powered editing skills, and the company also announced that it made a partnership with Adobe that would focus on art generation through Bard. Google also shared developments regarding its 3D teleconferencing video booth Project Starline, which will now heavily employ AI and ML for 3D image generation.

Entering AI war with loads of bullets

Google’s current products are getting revamps through new AI features, and one of them includes the Workspace suite. Nonetheless, the AI integrations will initially target Sheets (automatic table generation), Slides, and Meet (image creation). This follows the company’s earlier announcements about testing generative AI in Gmail and Google Docs. And although this is still far from what Microsoft has already accomplished in integrating AI across its productivity apps, it seems Google is determined to bring it to more of its own.

Search also gets some AI touches, allowing it to better understand images and their context. And with Google realizing the power of generative AI to spread misinformation, images should now be labeled if they are AI-generated. Moreover, Google is trying a feature similar to Microsoft’s Bing Chat. Here, the company shared an experiment focusing on AI-powered conversational mode in Search, though it seems Google won’t let it overshadow Search. To make that happen, this conversational mode will only appear as additional guidance or “suggested next steps” when a user searches for topics. 

Developers will also be overjoyed about the announcements during I/O 2023, and that’s because of a bunch of AI creations Google designed for them. That includes Firebase’s PaLM API-powered AI extensions and Android Studio Hedgehog in Android Studio that will allow conversational guidance involving codes. PlayStore is now filled with new AI features that will aid developers in writing their listings, summarizing app reviews, and more.

Of course, this AI-focused event won’t be complete with brand-new AI features from Google. As such, the giant introduced some, including the Magic Compose feature for modifying text styles and tones, the text-to-music MusicLM music generation tool, the Grammarly-like feature Sidekick in Google Docs side panel, Copilot-like code completion and code generation tool Codey, note-organizing Project Tailwind tool, Universal Translator for translating languages and editing a video matching the sounds to the speaker’s lips, and more. 

What Google’s recent AI releases mean for Microsoft

Microsoft has been investing billions of dollars to beef up its products and services using AI. This resulted in AI integration into its products, including Teams, Office apps, and more. Two of the biggest app products that benefited from it are Bing and Edge.

Microsoft’s AI efforts have put the two apps in the browser and search business market spotlight, but it could soon end with Google’s latest AI efforts. To recall, Bing and Edge’s market shares barely made improvements in the past months despite Microsoft AI integrations and intrusive ads. Even more, Apple Safari even recently beat Edge in the desktop browser market share. With all this, Google’s latest AI announcements could further drag Microsoft down and turn its multi-billion dollar AI investments futile. 

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