Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

OpenAI’s Google Search rival might launch just one day before I/O 2024

Published May 10th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
ChatGPT homepage
Image: Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

When Google takes the stage on Tuesday to deliver its lengthy, carefully rehearsed I/O 2024 keynote, it might do so under unexpected pressure. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT that’s responsible for Google’s big pivot to artificial intelligence last year, might launch its Google Search rival. That could certainly steal the thunder from Google’s big AI event, which, of course, is really all about Google Search.

As I wrote time and again, everything that Google does is about boosting Google Search revenue. That cash then pays for everything else. Take the $20 billion a year Google paid to Apple in 2022 to be the default search engine on iPhone. Google pays that fee because it’s making a big return on it.

Back to I/O 2024, I expect Google to focus on generative AI again. Seriously, if you’re going to stream the event live, don’t play any drinking games focusing on AI. Google will say AI, artificial intelligence, and machine learning so much that you’ll probably get drunk early on. That’s what I/O 2023 felt like. At the time, Google was playing catch-up to ChatGPT, which threatened its core business, Google Search.

Since then, Google has continuously improved its AI models, adding genAI features to all sorts of products. That included ongoing efforts to transform Google Search around AI, though that transformation is far from complete.

While Google is bringing AI to Google Search, OpenAI might be reinventing how internet search works by creating its own AI-powered search engine. ChatGPT would draw directly from it when looking at the web for information.

Google Gemini illustration
The Google AI logo is displayed on a smartphone with Gemini in the background in this photo illustration. Image source: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Google Search alternative could help improve ChatGPT’s access to real-time information. It’s a product that OpenAI probably needs to improve ChatGPT. It might as well turn it into a commercially available search engine.

Rumors a few days ago said that OpenAI might unveil its Google Search rival on May 9th. While that hasn’t happened, we explained why OpenAI creating a Google Search alternative makes sense and how OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has recently hinted at that possibility.

Since then, sources familiar with OpenAI’s plans informed Reuters that OpenAI plans to launch its AI internet search product on Monday, May 13th. The announcement date is subject to change, the report notes.

It would be a great move from OpenAI if it were to pull it off. ChatGPT’s new online search tool will draw much attention away from Google next week.

It wouldn’t be the first time a tech company tried to outdo a competitor. Just this week, Google decided to launch the Pixel 8a, an amazing new mid-range phone, at the worst possible time: on the same day as Apple’s big iPad Pro launch event. Nobody cared about the Pixel 8a, which deserves plenty of attention.

Announcing a search engine and actually releasing it isn’t the same thing. We could see OpenAI confirm rumors that it plans to launch a Google Search rival, and then say the product will be available later this year. Or the unnamed search engine might be released right away. But it could roll out in beta initially, restricted to the US and other markets.

It’s all speculation at this point. But, as someone who has removed Google Search almost entirely from their internet use habits, I can’t help but welcome the arrival of a competitor.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.