Google Artificial Intelligence: A Major Disruption for the Online Publishing Industry
Last Wednesday at its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google announced a number of new features. These include innovative writing tools for Gmail and immersive directions in Google Maps. However, the most prominent announcement is the one that has received the least attention outside of technical circles. Indeed, Google plans to revolutionize the way it presents search engine results by using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
1. What is Google's generative artificial intelligence ?
Google has unveiled how it plans to use generative AI in search engine results, a feature not yet rolled out to the general public. Generative AI essentially works by “reading” anything available on the open web and uses that information to formulate answers to questions in a conversational tone. This Article explains in detail how generative AI works.
2. How will this impact the online publishing industry?
The main challenge for the online publishing industry is that Google essentially creates answers to complex questions using all the content available on the open web. However, Google search users will no longer need to visit the pages that actually contain this information. This could have devastating consequences for online publishers, who depend on visits to their site to generate ad revenue and subscriptions.
3. A profound change for online publishers
This change could have devastating effects for online publishers, including established outlets like The New York Times and Forbes, as well as independent authors and journalists who publish on platforms like Substack and Twitter. The question is whether the source links, which Google plans to include alongside its AI-generated answers, will actually receive clicks.
4. The problem of “hallucinations”
Critics of AI argue that this technology could generate false information or "hallucinations", where the AI invents answers or documents to back up its errors. However, despite these concerns, it looks like AI is going to have a significant impact on how people consume information.
5. When will the change happen?
It is not yet clear when Google will launch this new feature. The company said it will start testing the feature in the coming weeks. However, with the growing popularity of competitors like Chat GPT, it is unlikely that Google will delay implementing this innovation.
Google's new feature, based on Artificial Intelligence, is likely to cause a real revolution in the online publishing industry. While users will likely benefit from more accurate and personalized answers to their questions, online publishers will face a major challenge. They will need to find new ways to drive traffic to their sites and monetize their content as Google continues to absorb an ever larger share of the online search market.