A new report claims that Google learned back in March that Samsung was considering a switch for the default search engine in its Galaxy smartphones and other devices. The company, which sells the most Android smartphones worldwide, was thinking seriously of using Microsoft's Bing search engine instead.
The report from the New York Times, based on internal messages from Google, claims that the company reacted with "panic" to this news. The main reason is that Google gets $3 billion annually from Samsung to be its default search engine. The report adds that Google assumed Microsoft's work on adding AI features like Bing Chat to its Bing search engine was the big reason why it was considering a switch.
The talks between Samsung and Microsoft, and between Samsung and Google, have reportedly not been completed, so it's still possible Samsung will stick with Google for its search needs in the end. However, the mere thought of losing Samsung has reportedly spurred Google into developing and adding more AI search features.
The story says that Google is reportedly working on a new project with the code name Magi, that will add AI features to its existing search engine. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai hinted that its search service would soon add conversational AI in an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier in April.
Today's New York Times story states:
Magi would keep ads in the mix of search results. Search queries that could lead to a financial transaction, such as buying shoes or booking a flight, for example, would still feature ads on their results pages.
The story says that Google may officially reveal Magi to the general public in May. That's also when the company will hold its annual Google i/O developers conference on May 10. It will initially add these new AI features to about one million US users and could expand to 30 million users by the end of 2023, according to the story.
The story also mentions some other AI products in development at Google. That includes its own AI art generator called GIFI, a way for people to learn different languages called Tivoli Tutor, and Searchalong which will add a chatbot working alongside Chrome.