The site works like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which went viral earlier this year for its unique and realistic responses from a computer program. But be careful about its answers.
You.com, a search engine launched last year promising more customizability, began offering a ChatGPT-style chatbot on its website Friday that can answer questions and hold a conversation, bringing more artificial intelligence-powered technology to the wider web. Though it does offer some answers with incorrect facts.
The search engine’s new feature follows ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that went viral earlier this year for being able to offer unique answers to complex questions, based on information it gleans from around the internet. You.com said it hopes to stand out, though, by offering answers to more-current questions, like, “Who won the 2022 World Cup?” ChatGPT has information only up to last year.
People who use You.com should be careful, however, as its confident answer to the World Cup query appeared to get details wrong, like where the final was held, what date it occurred and who scored the winning shot. When CNET asked the chatbot the question again, it omitted those details.
A note on the site says, “This product is in beta and its accuracy may be limited,” and adds that “You.com is not liable for content generated.”
ChatGPT has also been criticized for confidently publishing incorrect answers. You.com’s chat program is limited in other ways as well, and is seemingly unable to provide useful responses to requests like, “Write me a solitaire program in HTML for the web.”
Both chat programs do things like offer results from the web and repeat encyclopedia-like entries on various subjects. They can also write a letter in response to a prompt such as, “Write me a letter to an old friend who I don’t really like but keep in touch with out of obligation.”
ChatGPT, You.com and other similar chatbots are part of a broader shift in the tech world, where artificial intelligence programs are increasingly being coded to create new forms of art, music, writing and even their own code. Their popularity and seemingly fast evolution has begun raising questions about what art is, and whether computers can truly create unique products drawn from a reservoir of information.
The sudden popularity of ChatGPT in particular has reportedly had alarm bells ringing at Google, which has built its corporate image around AI work like self-driving cars, real-time translation apps and smart assistants. The search giant has its own ChatGPT-like tech called LaMDA, which it’s resisted releasing publicly because of possibilities it might offer embarrassing answers or start repeating hate speech. Other chatbots, from Microsoft, Facebook and more, have struggled with these issues.
For now, ChatGPT and You.com exist mostly as interesting demonstrations of what the future of AI could look like. And You.com co-founder Richard Socher said in a statement that he believes integrating chat functionality into You.com will help it stand out from Google. “People are looking for something new,” he said.
For instance, when asked to write a haiku about Jamaican beef patties, You.com produced this novel result:
Flaky crust, so golden
Seasoned beef inside, so savory
A Jamaican treat
One other thing that separates the two chatbots for now is that You.com will display website results alongside its responses, something ChatGPT isn’t currently designed to do.