Did Google meet the ChatGPT challenge at I/O 2023? ZDNET editors debate

Don't miss our analysis of Google's I/O most important announcements and whether Google did enough to counter the momentum of OpenAI and Microsoft.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Reviewed by Jason Hiner

At Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, the tech giant unveiled its latest software and product releases. However, for the first time in the conference's history, AI dominated Google's flagship event of the year. 

To analyze the announcements, Contributing Editor Dan Patterson discussed them with ZDNET's Editor in Chief Jason Hiner and editors Kerry Wan for his expertise in hardware, and Sabrina Ortiz for her extensive AI coverage.

Also: Every major AI feature announced at Google I/O 2023

Google's latest announcements and focus on AI were a response to the huge success of AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Bing Chat in the last few months, and the fact that Google hasn't had much luck with Bard.

For that reason, in addition to the hardware announcements such as the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7a, and the Pixel Tablet, Google made many AI-related announcements including the release of PaLM 2 (Google's new large language model to rival GPT-4), an updated version of Bard, and a new AI-powered search engine

Although the announcements seem innovative, were they enough to keep Google ahead of the competition? Besides evaluating the success of each major product and software release, the ZDNET editors chatted about whether Google's emphasis on AI is viable for its business model and what this shift could mean for consumers. 

Also: How to buy and pre-order Google Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet

As Hiner mentioned in the conversation, which can now be viewed on YouTube, Google is facing an innovator's dilemma. Its business model relies on generating revenue from its traditional search and ads within search results, and a shift to a chatbot could potentially cost the company a lot of revenue.

Will Google overcome its classic innovator's dilemma? Was the event a win or a flop for the company? These questions and more were tackled during the conversation. 

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