Sources say OpenAI intends to announce a competitor to Google search on Monday

According to two sources familiar with the matter, OpenAI is set to announce its artificial intelligence-powered search product on Monday, raising the stakes in its competition with search giant Google. The announcement date, which has not been previously reported, may be subject to change. Bloomberg and the Information have reported that Microsoft-backed OpenAI is working on a search product to potentially compete with Google and with Perplexity, a well-funded AI search startup.

Before Reuters published its report on Thursday, OpenAI declined to comment. However, after the publication, the company posted on X on Friday, announcing a live event on Monday to demonstrate some updates to ChatGPT and GPT-4. CEO Sam Altman later clarified on X that they were not unveiling GPT-5 or a search engine, but rather some new developments they believe will be well-received. Following Altman’s post, Alphabet’s stock partially recovered from an over 2% loss and was last down 0.9%.

OpenAI’s announcements might be strategically timed a day before the start of Google’s annual I/O conference on Tuesday, where the tech giant is anticipated to reveal numerous AI-related products. According to Bloomberg, OpenAI’s search product is an extension of its flagship ChatGPT product. This new capability allows ChatGPT to retrieve direct information from the web and provide citations. ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot product, utilizes the company’s advanced AI models to generate human-like responses to text prompts.

For some time, industry observers have considered ChatGPT as an alternative means of gathering online information. However, it has faced challenges in providing accurate and real-time web information. OpenAI previously integrated it with Microsoft’s Bing for paid subscribers. Meanwhile, Google has introduced generative AI features for its own search engine.

Startup Perplexity, founded by a former OpenAI researcher and currently valued at $1 billion, has gained popularity by offering an AI-native search interface that displays citations, images, and text in its responses. According to a January blog post from the startup, Perplexity boasts 10 million monthly active users.

Initially, OpenAI’s ChatGPT product was hailed as the fastest application to reach 100 million monthly active users after its late 2022 launch. However, traffic to ChatGPT’s website has fluctuated over the past year, only recently returning to its May 2023 peak, according to analytics firm Similarweb. This puts pressure on the AI company to expand its user base.

An earlier effort to provide updated and real-world information within ChatGPT, known as ChatGPT plugins, was retired in April, as per a help center posting on OpenAI’s website.

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