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Beyond Automation: Rethinking Artificial Intelligence As a Search Tool

What goes around comes around. And so it is with search. With artificial intelligence being deemed a “Google killer”, it is hard to remember how this little thing called “search” even started. 

Excite, WebCrawler, Lycos, and InfoSeek were early examples, and then along came AltaVista and Ask Jeeves. Yes, a search engine that all you had to do was ask it a question. Somehow along the way, Google became the eight-hundred-pound gorilla that convoluted even the simplest of human tasks – asking a question that elicits a clear, straightforward answer.

Without getting into the value of SEO rankings, or the ongoing battle of Siri versus Alexa for voice search, this newfound infatuation with artificial intelligence seems to really be the next phase in the evolution of search – simplifying what has otherwise become a poor user experience.

In our hectic lives, simplicity is a welcome change. Consider this example: In my household, meal planning for five people is a big deal. Each week we seem to dread the process of balancing our staple dinner menu with the desire to try something new. Of course, we often lean on Google to help with that process. But here’s the problem. The Google query “What are some easy Italian recipes” results in a response including the following:

  • Three different websites including 50 different “best” Italian recipes
  • Four other questions “People also ask” including the top 10 Italian dishes, 5 traditional Italian dishes, the number 1 Italian dish, and basic Italian food
  • 17 Recipes from Southern Living
  • 100 Easy Italian Dinners from Taste of Home
  • 52 Classic Italian Dinners from

And the list goes on from there. Problem NOT solved. Google just added ten more minutes of “work” to my day, and much to my chagrin, even using Bing with ChatGPT resulted in similar responses.

However, this is where things get interesting. ChatGPT’s response to the same question in OpenAI was as follows:

  • Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: Cook spaghetti in salted water, sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, toss spaghetti with the garlic oil, and top with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
  • Margherita Pizza: Spread tomato sauce on a pre-made pizza crust, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, top with sliced fresh tomatoes and basil leaves, and bake in the oven until cheese is melted and crust is crispy.
  • Caprese Salad: Slice fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, arrange them on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Problem solved. Now this is not to say that the infinite number of responses to any given search query from Google or Bing isn’t helpful, but the monetization of search at the expense of user experience has certainly opened the door for us to change the way we seek to find information. 

I, for one, am beginning to lean on AI not only as a tool for optimizing business processes, but now it’s becoming a part of my everyday consideration set when I want to learn something new. 

A Google killer? Maybe/maybe not, but the race is certainly on. As a media buyer, I can’t wait to see what new avenues this opens for our clients.

*This content is supported by AI.

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