Is OpenAI’s GPT-3 the ultimate bear case for Google?
ChatGPT is like Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” — but with actual use.
Ask ChatGPT any question, and it’ll get you an articulate response. Tell it to write you a poem; it’ll give you a masterpiece. Ask if it has “any opinions about humans in general,” and it’ll give you this.
The tool was built by OpenAI — a private artificial intelligence research and deployment firm that’s raised over $1B in funding.
ChatGPT reached one million users in just five days. It took Instagram two and a half months.
Google’s search market share has declined from over 90% in 2018 to 83% in July this year — with users moving to competing platforms in recent years:
- 40% of Gen-Zs prefer using TikTok and Instagram for search.
- 49% of product searches in 2019 started on Amazon, per eMarketer.
The (shortened) evolution of search: Cave drawings → encyclopedias →
BingGoogle → ChatGPT?
Is this the end for Google?
Unlikely. Even if Google loses market share, Search has become a much smaller part of parent company Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) revenue.
- Google Search and related properties have fallen to 58% of Alphabet’s business — down from nearly 100% of its revenue a decade ago.
- In 2021, YouTube and Google Cloud made up nearly 19% of total sales.
Google has another edge: profits.
Running these AI chats isn’t free. It requires a lot of computing power estimated to cost OpenAI “single-digits cents” per chat. When millions of users are asking it several questions a day, it adds up.
And unlike Google — which makes money off search ads — GPT-3 is free to use without ads (so far). ChatGPT is still far from 100% accuracy — with some estimating the error rate at two to five percent.
For now, Google isn’t going anywhere.