From Bard to Bing: the AI search engine hype

ChatGPT is booming. In the race for the AI crown, big players including Google are now integrating AI into their search engines.

AI is set to optimize Google’s search engine.
Image: © firmbee /

ChatGPT as a prototype of a successful AI search engine

ChatGPT has unleashed a real AI boom. The chatbot, developed by the U.S. company OpenAI, isn’t just an exciting marketing tool – lots of online users are also utilizing it as a search engine and inspiration to answer all kinds of job-related and personal questions and to structure and formulate texts. Following on from the sensational hype, companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple are now outdoing each other with updates on new AI-based features and products.

Google and Microsoft are tapping into AI: search engines with chatbot support

According to the 2023 Statcounter, there’s absolutely no doubt that Google is still the most-used search engine in the world, with a market share of nearly 93 percent. Although Microsoft’s search engine Bing ranks second, the company is hot on Google’s heels after working with OpenAI to optimize its search engine in the form of an AI-supported feature. The AI chatbot integration is based on ChatGPT and draws on sources from the web to deliver better, detailed responses to complex questions. “The New Bing” also helps users write emails and other text documents and even prepares them for job interviews.

However, Google isn’t just idly watching on, and has presented its own AI chatbot “Bard”, which was released to the public on March 23, 2023 – in the U.S. and UK at least. Like ChatGPT, Bard is based on a large language model. It is currently only available to a small test group as a stripped-down version, conveniently complementing Google Search. There are plans to expand it in the future with additional AI features. Bard will then be capable of clearly explaining the most complex topics to users or even helping them organize events.

The Chinese competitor Baidu also recently announced an AI chatbot called Ernie. The name is derived from the acronym for the AI model it is built upon (Enhanced Representation through kNowledge IntEgration).

Fusion of AI and search engines still in its infancy

Both Bing and Bard outperform ChatGPT, given that their search results are more up to date. That said, neither AI chatbot is fully developed yet, as is the case with ChatGPT. The search experience is marred by incorrect responses and problems in terms of search functionality. The time pressure for releasing the new AI features is undoubtedly a factor in that. The ChatGPT craze has meant that companies have had to quickly follow suit in order to avoid losing users to the competition. When it comes to availability, ChatGPT is currently the frontrunner because anyone can access it for free. However, it’s only a matter of time until Google, Microsoft, and other providers level up their AI search engines and offer users multiple new and helpful features beyond the search functionality itself.