Google just came out guns blazing in the arms race to dominate AI.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were recently called in to help define and refine the company’s AI strategy—help that’s desperately needed as the company responds to threats like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI.
The company is moving fast. According to The New York Times:
Google now intends to unveil more than 20 new products and demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features this year, according to a slide presentation reviewed by The New York Times and two people with knowledge of the plans who were not authorized to discuss them.
Our founder/CEO Paul Roetzer put it more bluntly on LinkedIn:
“Here we go. Google would like to remind you who put in much of the generative AI we see today in motion. And lay the groundwork for what’s to come.”
In Episode 31 of the Marketing AI Show, he broke down why Google’s moves matter—for the company, the world of AI, and business leaders.
1. Don’t think for a second that Google has been asleep at the wheel.
There’s no question that Google is moving faster thanks to pressure from ChatGPT. But the company isn’t behind in the AI arms race. It’s just been more deliberate.
The company has been responsible for many fundamental innovations in AI. Notably, a technology broadly referred to as transformers came out of Google in 2017. ChatGPT, GPT-3, and many other recent innovations rely on transformers to do what they do.
It’s no coincidence that Jeff Dean, one of the top AI people at Google, is publishing an in-depth review of Google’s AI contributions and upcoming innovations. It’s no coincidence that the article is being retweeted by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Google hasn’t stopped work on AI. They have technology waiting in the wings. They have just, until now, taken a more deliberate approach to commercializing it. Whether that approach is right or wrong, they are one of a handful of AI leaders in the world able to build and deploy AI at scale.
“I think we are about to see a PR blitz from Google to start taking control of the narrative back,” says Roetzer.
Expect similar efforts from other Big Tech giants like Meta. Because none of them have been sitting on the sidelines of AI either. All the labs at the major tech companies are sitting on seriously powerful AI capabilities.
“Don't think that Meta and Microsoft and these other players don't have similar or better technology sitting behind their walls,” says Roetzer.
The trillion-dollar question of 2023 is:
What moves do they do next?
2. You’re probably asking the wrong question about these developments.
ChatGPT gets all the headlines right now. And, make no mistake, it’s a huge deal.
But when your team or your executives or your board members ask “What are we doing with ChatGPT?”, you’re asking the wrong question, says Roetzer.
ChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg. The AI arms race will result in a wave of innovations that reshape every aspect of business. ChatGPT will be old news sooner than you think.
The question you need to ask is:
What does our overall AI play look like? What does our roadmap for infusing AI into our business look like?
3. You need to start gaming out how your business can be disrupted.
Here’s an exercise to help you start building that roadmap:
Pretend a competitor is coming for your business today. How do you make every part of your business smarter? What does a smarter version of your business even look like? Where can AI help you in marketing, sales, service, product, R&D, HR, finance, and legal?
You don’t have to solve everything all at once. But you do need a roadmap, an order of operations, to prioritize which areas of the company to transform with AI.
You also need to stay current on AI. The space moves so fast that, three months from now, Microsoft or Google or Meta could make an announcement that renders parts of your roadmap obsolete, says Roezter.
Your roadmap, like any map today, needs to both exist and update frequently as road conditions change.
Here’s how to start figuring this out
It’s not easy to figure this out. And you may lack the talent to do so right now.
But you can still get ahead of AI-driven disruption—and do it fast—with our Piloting AI for Marketers course series, a series of 17 on-demand courses designed as a step-by-step learning journey for marketers and business leaders to increase productivity and performance with artificial intelligence.
The course series contains 7+ hours of learning, dozens of AI use cases and vendors, a collection of templates, course quizzes, a final exam, and a Professional Certificate upon completion.
After taking Piloting AI for Marketers, you’ll:
- Understand how to advance your career and transform your business with AI.
- Have 100+ use cases for AI in marketing—and learn how to identify and prioritize your own use cases.
- Discover 70+ AI vendors across different marketing categories that you can begin piloting today.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.