The arrival of ChatGPT last year sent a rare shiver through Google’s spine. For years the company had positioned itself as a leader in the development in artificial intelligence. Suddenly, though, a product from the upstart OpenAI rocketed to tens of millions of monthly users — and observers began asking whether Google had squandered its lead.
Within weeks, leaders at the company declared a “code red” — a signal that the time to begin shipping AI features was now. (It was widely reported that CEO Sundar Pichai declared the code red, but he later told me that it wasn’t the case.)
A handful of products have shipped since — most notably Bard, the company’s ChatGPT analog. But on Wednesday, at the company’s annual developer conference, the floodgates opened. At Google I/O, a torrent of new AI features were announced, touching nearly every part of the company’s product lineup.
Getting users to switch platforms is proving more difficult some imagined it would be
For the most part, these products will ship “in the coming weeks” or “later this year.” Until then, all we really have to go on is the previews we saw in demonstrations and pre-conference press briefings.