OpenAI said to be launching search engine on Monday, directly targeting Google's

OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed A.I. startup that's often in the news, is reportedly launching a search engine on Monday. Powered by its generative A.I. technology, the site takes direct aim at Google's cash cow.

OpenAI declined to comment. The announcement could be timed a day before the Tuesday start of Google's annual I/O conference, where the tech giant is expected to unveil a slew of AI-related products. Industry observers have long called ChatGPT an alternative for gathering online information, though it has struggled with providing accurate and real-time information from the Web. OpenAI earlier gave it an integration with Microsoft's Bing for paid subscribers. Meanwhile, Google has announced generative AI features for its own namesake engine.

Google's search experience has sharply deteriorated in recent years: see Ed Zitron's amazing report on the executive coup in 2019 that demoted the company's head of search and turned his department over to the ad guys. But Google is so embedded in our lives (and browsers) that competitors are up against a brick wall of user indifference. OpenAI has a shot at it. If you imagine a quality chart with "Google" curving down and "A.I." curving up, it's not enough for "A.I." to be better. It has to be so much better that people intentionally go to it instead of using the search bar that's already right there in everything.

This is not, of course, to say that AI search will give us a better life. Like many things in life, we have choices. And the choice here is "Google head of search Beast Rabban" and "The enlightenments of an inscrutable basilisk."

Previously: OpenAI GPT trademark denied