Shares of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are trading at their highest price since last August, as the company made major announcements about its artificial intelligence offerings at its developer conference.
The stock closed at $116.57, up 4.3% on Thursday after the company announced it was rolling out its generative AI offering to its core search engine and other products. Microsoft incorporated OpenAI’s GPT-4 into its Bing search engine earlier this year and it has been widely expected that Google will follow suit.
The Search Generative Experience will be part of Google and will give users answers to open ended questions in natural language rather than a series of links. Currently the system is in an “experimental” phase and is only available to a limited number of users.
“We are reimagining all of our core products, including search,” said Sundar Pichai, the boss of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
During the company’s developer conference on Wednesday, executives presented one product after another that had been infused with AI technology. A demonstration of Gmail showed how generative AI could compose an email to an airline to get a refund and a Google Photos presentation showed the ability to remove unwanted elements of photos, remove people, reposition people, and adjust the lighting on a photo.
In Google Docs, the company showed off the ability to create a full job description from just a few words of prompt.
But the biggest change will be in Google’s core offering, search. Instead of a list of links, Google’s AI-powered search will show users paragraphs of AI-generated text. This has the potential to upend the publishing industry for one, which relies on Google search for a large amount of its traffic. Publishers may find themselves cut out of the search function entirely, instead AI capable of processing and churning out information will scrape articles and present them as their own.