Google Co-founders Back at Helm to Champion AI Strategy Amid Threats to $150B Search Business
July 21, 2023
Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is bringing back experienced leaders to address recent developments that could challenge its market dominance and threaten its $150B yearly Search business. The main concern is around artificial intelligence (AI) and the importance of incorporating this technology into its product strategy. “The unveiling of ChatGPT by Microsoft-supported (MSFT) research entity OpenAI in November” served as a critical wake-up call, leading to the creation of several other AI products and prompting even Meta Platforms (META) to shift their focus away from the metaverse.
Stepping Up the AI Game
Indeed, the competition is heating up. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who have been largely absent from Google since stepping back from daily roles in 2019, have recently heightened their presence at the Mountain View, California headquarters. Their mission is to ensure AI is prioritized in Google’s agenda. Intriguingly, Brin is reported to be in the office three to four days a week, working on the upcoming major AI system, Gemini, designed to rival GPT-4. He has even begun recruiting top researchers in the field, building his team as the competition escalates.
The Power Behind Alphabet
It is important to note that Brin is the second-largest individual shareholder of Alphabet, following Page, with an approximate $90B stake. They hold the majority of voting power at Alphabet (GOOG) (GOOGL) and are members of the executive committee, alongside current CEO Sundar Pichai. Pichai highlighted AI as an urgent issue in February. Since then, Google has launched its chatbot, Bard, powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), showcased AI innovation at its I/O developer conference in May, and is allegedly testing an AI tool for news writing and journalistic aid.
Analyst Insight on Google’s AI Pursuits
The Asian Investor, an SA analyst, suggests, “Google’s opportunity for AI goes far beyond its integration into the Search business… AI-backed applications will likely feature in Google’s Cloud platform and its productivity tool suite like Google Docs.” Nexus Research adds, “Investors are also overlooking the AI-powered potential of the influential YouTube platform.” In addition, Bradley Guichard notes, “Google merged its two AI research groups, Brain and DeepMind, into one known as Google DeepMind,” revealing two ways to benefit from the growth stock.