- Google asked Larry Page and Sergey Brin for help fighting ChatGPT, according to The New York Times.
- The pair reportedly met with executives to discuss the company’s artificial intelligence strategy.
- The release of OpenAI’s typing bot sparked concerns about the future of Google’s search engine.
Google owner Alphabet asked co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin for help after issuing a “code red” following the release of OpenAI’s writing tool, The New York Times reported.
The release of ChatGPT on November 30 has sparked internal concerns over the continued dominance of Google’s search engine. CEO Sundar Pichai held meetings on Google’s AI strategy in December, and the company reportedly issued a “code red” after the AI bot quickly gained traction.
That led to calls from Pichai to Page and Brin, more than three years after they stepped down from senior roles, The Times reported. The co-founders remain on the board of Alphabet.
According to the report, Page and Brin held “several” meetings with executives last month to strategize about Google’s AI, and approved plans to incorporate more chatbot features into the search engine.
Page and Brin hadn’t really been closely involved in the company’s operations since 2019, an unnamed source told the paper, only visiting the Silicon Valley offices to check in on their “moonshot” projects.
Vic Gundotra, a former senior vice president at Google, told The Times that the co-founders had always been interested in AI. Page was reportedly unimpressed with a new Gmail feature in 2008, saying, “Why can’t it automatically write that email for you.”
An Alphabet representative told The Times: “We continue to test our AI technology internally to ensure it is useful and safe, and we look forward to sharing more experiences externally soon.”
The company did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.
As Google grew increasingly concerned about the threat posed by ChatGPT, Insider’s Thomas Maxwell identified 12 powerful players working on the technology needed to fight back.
The chatbot, which amassed a million users in just five days, Insider reported, streamlines the search process. It can also take on complex tasks like writing a children’s book, responding to Hinge matches, writing cover letters and even providing career coaching advice.
The chatbot frenzy also sparked concerns about misinformation. AI experts told Insider that it is not capable of fact-checking itself and cannot distinguish between a confirmed fact and misinformation. Bloomberg reported that it can also generate racist and sexist responses.
Google announced sweeping workforce cuts on Friday, eliminating 12,000 positions. In an email to staff, Pichai said he took “full responsibility for the decisions that got us here.”