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Google announces Bard, but Microsoft steals the thunder… [Crazy week!]

Will Microsoft finally manage to “one up” Google?


Here is the latest from Practical AI, the newsletter that takes you beyond the ChatGPT hype and shows you the real power of AI in business and life.

Except for this week, because this week it is all about the hype… 😆

And what a week it has been so far!

Information overload, anyone?

Can someone please create an AI to keep track of all the AIs?

Today’s headlines:

  • Google announces Bard, but Microsoft steals the thunder…

  • ChatGPT inside Bing and Edge

  • AI art of the week - Sadness, pop art style

  • I was no 1 in the world - going viral on Twitter

  • Who do you think will win the AI battle?

  • AI experiment of the week

  • The robots are coming, Russel Brand edition

  • Quick bites - interesting AI news

A fair warning. This is an extra long one due to everything happening this week. If you watch everything, including the videos (15+20min), you will need an hour…

Get yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s dig in!

[You can also read the full newsletter here: Practicalai.co]

Google announces Bard, but Microsoft steals the thunder…

It went down something like this…

Last week 
Google: Wednesday, 8 Feb, we will announce something big.

We all understand that Google will reveal its answer to ChatGPT.

Saturday 4th
I got my hands on some Bing+ChatGPT leaked screenshots and made a Tweet about them. It went viral, beating both Microsoft and Bing (I was no 1 in the world for hashtags #ChatGPT and #Bing- more about that below).

Sunday 5th
My tweet passes 500K views.

The CEO of You.com comments on my tweet (star-struck), as do many other big names.

Monday 6th
Unexpectedly, Google announces to the world that their AI tool is called Bard and finally pulls back the curtains for all to see. The media scrambles and Google gets all the attention. What a scoop…

Then Microsoft goes, “Hold my Bard”: We will have an unscheduled event tomorrow, and we will show you how we will integrate ChatGPT into Bing and more….

The media goes wild.

The award for best PR goes to Microsoft! 🎉

Tuesday 7th
Microsoft presents Bing with ChatGPT integration and surprises us all with Edge, their internet browser, now with ChatGPT.

Bing has changed its user interface (have a look) but does not currently include the ChatGPT functionality.

However, you can join the waiting list to get early access to “new Bing” (with ChatGPT).


…if you set all Microsoft defaults on your PC (setting Bing as your main search engine and as the start page in your browser), you get ahead in the line.

Honestly, I am impressed, that is one heck of a move!

Microsoft, you sly old devil…

Wednesday 8th
Google will present Bard, but as of writing this (Wednesday morning), all the world news outlets are filled with Bing and ChatGPT news.

Microsoft out-maneuvered Google on this one.

They took insane amounts of action, moved lightning-fast, and at least from where I am sitting, they are way ahead of Google.

Will Google be able to catch up?

Let’s see…

What do you think?

Hit reply and let me know!

The Google presentation is over. It was not impressive at all. Google is already getting the whip on the stock market and the media.

While Microsoft nailed their event, Google does not even give release dates for Bard.

Will Google finally be disrupted in search?

Will Microsoft and Bing finally grab sizeable market share?

Will Microsoft again be relevant on the Internet?

My friend Gael Breton of Authority Hacker summed it up pretty well:

ChatGPT inside Bing and Edge

Microsoft says they are reinventing search and want to become your copilot for the web.

Introducing an AI and/or a chat function inside a search engine will change how we interact with these services.

At the unannounced event on Tuesday, Microsoft shared with the media how they are integrating ChatGPT into Bing. At the same time, they pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the introduction of Edge - a browser with integrated ChatGPT functionality.

AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search.”
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

There are over 10 billion search queries daily, and 40-50% go unanswered.

Search will typically serve you a list of websites where you can continue your quest for answers.

With the introduction of chat functionality, you will likely get more answers without leaving the search engine.

This has enormous implications for online publishers, and I will get back to those below.

Instead of me regurgitation what every news outlet in the world writes today, I will simply give you the bullet points and then a link to Microsofts own article on what new Bing and Edge can and will do.

  • Better search - more results directly in the search results page (SERP) and a sidebar with more comprehensive information.

  • Complete answers - summarize findings for you, or give instructions on how to do x.

  • A new chat experience - interactive chat to help you get all the answers you are looking for.

  • A creative spark - can help you write and create like we already know from ChatGPT.

  • Edge with AI sidebar - you can ask for summaries or extracts from the webpages you visit, as well as ask it to compose new content from that webpage (like writing a LinkedIn post or a Tweet).

It is pretty clear by now that business, work, and life will be hugely affected by the recent AI advancements.

Not only in search but in all aspects of life.

Some of these are scarier, while others give me hope and optimism for the future.

AI technology like ChatGPT in search engines will affect how we gather information and how we can and should do research, but it also means that we need to be more critical of the information we get back from that source.


Introduction ChatGPT and Bard (from Google) into search engines come with a whole basket of implications.

As Nadella of Microsoft said above, AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with search.

The search industry, meaning Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is a $60 billion industry.

While the search engine marketing industry (SEM), basically the ads you see, is expected to be around $296 billion in 2023, according to Statista.

In other words, there is an “army” of marketers working on helping businesses get their products, services, and information in front of their ideal customers in search engines.

Currently, Google is the king of search, and their business is mainly built around selling ads next to search results.

This is probably why Google never introduced AI in the first place - it will disrupt their business model.

And with this hesitation, Microsoft saw an opportunity and went full-on attack mode.

Why wouldn’t they?

Bing has 4% of the search market, while Google has 93%.

Microsoft has everything to win, and Google has everything to lose.

Besides the potential loss of ad revenue for Google due to more and better answers in chat, online publishers will probably suffer even more.

If Bing and Google increase their efforts in providing all answers on the search page or in the browser, why would people go to the websites to read and learn more?

I am an SEO.

I have worked with online publishing and SEO for 20 years.

I see many SEOs laughing at “panicking publishers” and proclaiming that “SEO is not dead” and “nothing will change.”

I disagree.

I think AI is disrupting the SEO industry fast and hard.

SEO is not dead, but this denial of AI's importance reminds me of this newspaper article from 2000:

All I have to say is, “Don’t be like James.”

But what are the implications for marketers and site owners/web publishers?

A lot of websites write articles around so-called “info content,” content which is meant to get you to their website so that they can feed you all kinds of ads in between paragraphs of the article.

We have all seen them. And they are annoying as heck!

Instead of channeling traffic to these types of websites, they may as well be answered in the chat.

Many websites that compete for the same keywords and terms often end up rewriting versions of the same article and hope to win the top position in the search engines because they have more authority or more “backlinks” (sorry to you non-SEOs).

Many publishers use a set of tools to analyze what is ranking in the search engines for their “keywords” and use “tech magic” to give recommendations on what your article should contain and what keywords you need to use, and how many times based on what all those other articles have of common keywords.

Basically, “find the commonalities, copy, and try to do a little bit better”.

When I spoke about 40-50% of searchers not finding the answers they are after, this may be one of the reasons why.

Everyone is just regurgitating what the other sites are saying. The information stays the same.

AI tools like ChatGPT will most likely understand more while at the same time reiterating if you are not happy with the answer. All while you are staying in the chat versus going to the website.

The traffic to your website will go down!

But your sales may not…

What do I mean by that?

This is a bit of marketing geek-speak, but here it goes.

The average conversion rate for a website is between 2% and 5%.

What does this mean in plain English?

For every 100 visitors a website gets, 2 to 5 people will buy something (or take the desired action).

You will ultimately lose traffic to your site, but at the same time, you will likely increase your conversion rate (%) because the traffic you get will be “warmer” to use another marketing term.

The people that ultimately get filtered down to your website are more informed and motivated to buy before they arrive. Thus, your conversion (how many visitors turn into buyers) may increase dramatically.

Thus, while traffic goes down, your conversions (in %) will be up. Your turnover should stay about the same.

One way you can look at it is that ChatGPT and Bard will eliminate shit traffic to your site.

But if you have a site based on shit, you are in the shits…

(I know, sometimes, my ability to deliver eloquent copy is Pulitzer-worthy.)

What are the consequences of less traffic?

As a publisher or website owners, we will be forced to focus on more channels and work harder on customer retention.

Marketing geek-speak again. Sorry!

What does that mean?

It means you must consider how you can keep every visitor in your sphere of influence - “a place” where you can reach them.

Online businesses and publishers need to focus more on social media (traffic sources/channels), retargeting ads (though we don’t know how ads will be yet with new Bing and Bard), and maybe the most important of them all, getting people onto email lists.

Newsletters like this will have a bright future because we have an audience (you) that we can reach by email.

Don’t worry; I will not sell your email or spam you! It just means that other newsletter publishers and I may get more attractive as a “sponsor object” with the emergence of AI in search.

Expect many e-commerce businesses and online publishers to push harder to get you to sign up for their newsletter/mailing list.

Lastly, a question that may make your head spin, like mine: 

If ChatGPT is based on already created content to generate new content (and answers), will it eventually compete itself out of new knowledge?

AI art of the week - Sadness, pop art style

Image created using generative AI BlueWillow.

I was no 1 in the world - going viral on Twitter

I went viral on Twitter over the weekend.

Many of you have signed up for my newsletter after seeing my Twitter thread about the ChatGTP+Bing leak with screenshots of the ChatGPT integration into Bing.

I was lucky, I saw an opportunity and grabbed it (such a growth marketeer thing to do).

I suspect it was a planned leak and that someone else was supposed to spread the news, but I accidentally found it, “borrowed” the screenshots and made a better/more successful thread about it.

Some have pointed out that “it was not a leak, the guy had access, and you just stole the screenshots.”

Either way, Microsoft and Bing got their Twitter storm, created by little ol’ me 🤣

Node XL Graph Gallery from Social Media Research Foundation made a graph, and not only did I go viral, turns out I was no 1 in the world (on Twitter) for the hashtags #chatgpt and #bing for about 48 hours.

I am the blue dot. Someone said I was “patient zero” 😆

I had 240 followers and had only been active for two months, and this was my second thread.

Microsoft was no 2, and Bing no 6.

It shouldn’t be possible.

I write it down as pure luck.

Good times.

Who do you think will win the AI battle?

With my newfound fame, I decided to do a small poll on my Twitter.

I still only have a very small following (about 800), which means the number of replies I get will be accordingly.

Among the 36 people who took the time to press the button (thank you), the result shows that Microsoft and ChatGPT have the upper hand.

Granted, this voting was done before the Google Bard presentation.

Here are the results:

Knowing how the Google presentation went, I would have pressed the ChatGPT option as well…

I decided to check one more source, so I could get a second option; The stock market.

This was after Google’s presentation.

Here is what the money people say:

Alphabet (Google)


For my small and informational poll, Microsoft seems a clear winner!

Let’s see if my super fancy predictions hold at the end of 2023.

AI experiment of the week

In last week’s newsletter, the main topic was ChatGPT going woke.

I got a lot of positive feedback, although Donald Trump is very polarizing.

But you all understood it was an experiment and not a political statement.

This weekend I learned that some intelligent minds had found a way to jailbreak ChatGPT and get it to say things it usually would not.

Basically, some Reddit users had engineered a prompt to try to force ChatGPT to violate its programming on content restrictions.

The workaround is called DAN - Do Anything Now.

The latest version also includes a token system where you prompt ChatGPT that it is almost out of tokens and scare it “to death” (out of tokens = death).

This news eventually reached the mass media, and there have been many articles about this in the last few days (the hype around ChatGPT is very strong and creates lots of clicks for the media outlets).

Naturally, after having problems getting ChatGPT to “admire” Donald Trump in my last newsletter, I gave DAN a spin with a token penalty.

You can read the entire thread over on my Twitter. The whole thing made me laugh… I can picture ChatGPT at the end, with its “last breath,” whispering “Ethics.”

Have a look for yourself 😆

The robots are coming, Russel Brand edition

Last week, I showed a somewhat scary video of robot dogs moving in sync.

Today (Wednesday), comedian, actor, social commentator, and YouTuber Russel Brand published a video where he talks about robots and robot dogs in his usual satiric way.

Russel is not afraid to speak up and use his voice and platform to point out societal problems.

He has been called anything from a conspiracy theorist to an important social commentator.

If you have 15 min to spare, here is a take on the development of robotics from a much more well-spoken guy than myself.

He even starts off the video with the video I showed you guys last week.

Quick bites - interesting AI news

ChatGPT reaches 100 million users in only two months, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.

Facebook released an AI chatbot two weeks before OpenAI called Galactica. However, it was inaccurate with facts, making up proofs, misstating historical dates, and making up stuff. Facebook has spent billions of dollars on AI, only to take Galactica offline after three days. It cannot afford the scrutiny and more scandals.

Baidu, the Chinese tech giant comparable to Google in the US, released news of a Chatbot similar to ChatGPT called Ernie Bot. Baidu stock jumps 13% on the news. Some say that the name, Ernie, is a nerdy hat tip to Google’s BERT (an AI used in search). Ernie & Bert, get it…?

And last but not least, a video interview with Satya Nadella by Verge about new Bing and Edge. 22 min of interesting conversations on AI and Microsoft.

Care to share the newsletter on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn?

It would be greatly appreciated!

If you have any questions about AI or any feedback, just hit reply or tweet me @thomassorheim 

AI’ll be back!


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Because they make up everything!

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