With AI Chatbots Like OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google May Soon Experience A 'Total Disruption'

Paul Buchheit
angel investor, software developer, creator of Gmail and the first AdSense prototype

Since it was founded in 1998, Google quickly became the source for people to seek information. For years, the search engine seemed to be the unstoppable force, powered by the strengths of its algorithms, and user profiling capabilities through trackers.

And pair that with its digital advertising business, Google is the goliath with no worthy enemy to compare.

While the search engine does improvise and get better as time passes, like using AI, for example, nothing came close to what OpenAI did with ChatGPT.

Instead of having an AI to power a search engine, OpenAI creates an AI that learns from datasets, to be able to respond like a human being.

According to Gmail creator, Paul Buchheit, this kind of technology can destroy Google in the same way that the search engine killed The Yellow Pages.

Paul Buchheit
Paul Buchheit

In a tweet, he said that:

"Google may be only a year or two away from total disruption."

"AI will eliminate the Search Engine Result Page, which is where they make most of their money. Even if they catch up on AI, they can't fully deploy it without destroying the most valuable part of their business!"

Buccheit was the 23rd employee hired at Google, and as a computer engineer, he was the man behind Gmail, and helped the company develop the first AdSense prototype, a system which then becomes a way for Google to target ads on websites and allow publishers to earn profit.

And here, ChatGPT has made headlines for its outstanding ability to do anything from writing an essay to provide coding advice. The AI chatbot can answer questions in a clear, conversational manner using data collected from millions of websites.

While it's not perfect, just like any other product out there, so isn't Google.

Buccheit said that ChatGPT itself cannot disrupt Google's monopoly and how it rules its empire, but eventually, advancements in the technology can shift the way people access information.

"The way I imagine this happening is that the URL/Search bar of the browser gets replaced with AI that autocompletes my thought/question as I type it while also providing the best answer (which may be a link to a website or product)," he said on Twitter, adding that AI will be able to "instantly do what would take many minutes for a human" to do using a search engine like Google.

As ChatGPT gains momentum, Buchheit predicted that Google will see a downfall from the depletion of its search-based revenue, which is the most profitable part of the tech giant’s business.

Give or take, he predicted this can happen in two years at max, if Google doesn't create something to compete with ChatGPT.

The Gmail creator is far from the first to sound the alarm on ChatGPT's potential impact on Google.

Back in December 2022, CEO Sundar Pichai issued a "code red" warning over the chatbot, and has led internal meetings concerning Google's AI strategy.

The company even called in Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to help address the issue.

With Google's parent company, Alphabet, has become the unstoppable giant, many are trying to break up the company to smaller pieces, in order to loosen its grip in the market.

And here, ChatGPT just made things worse for Google.

Even Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, has started using ChatGPT to power its features.