The big picture: Over the past couple of years, OpenAI has gone from strength to strength, thanks to AI-based tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E. Now, the company is said to be developing a search product in a move that could offer Google its first real competition since its inception more than two decades ago.

The news comes from The Information, which claims the new tool will be partially based on Microsoft's Bing search engine but will otherwise be similar to Google. While OpenAI hasn't yet confirmed the report, the company has been expanding ChatGPT's web browsing abilities to offer users a more contextual and conversational approach to search.

It is worth noting here that the report doesn't confirm whether the new product will be offered as a standalone web search tool like existing search engines, or if it will be integrated within ChatGPT. However, it does speculate that it could be part of ChatGPT's premium tier for paying subscribers.

While there's not a whole lot more information on this subject, it shouldn't surprise anyone that OpenAI is looking to eat Google's lunch with its own search product for consumers. The company already has a web crawler called GPTBot that's used by ChatGPT to search the web for new information, but it remains to be seen how it leverages its existing web crawler and Bing to power its rumored search product.

For the uninitiated, Microsoft is one of the largest investors in OpenAI, and has already incorporated the latter's AI-powered tools into its current products, such as Bing and Copilot. However, despite its earnest efforts, the new AI-based offerings have failed to enthuse users, with the company barely seeing any realistic increase in its market share.

While Microsoft has so far failed to rope in new users by infusing Bing with AI smarts, OpenAI's search product could offer the first worthwhile rival to Google in decades. That said, Google is also not resting on its laurels, and is investing heavily in AI for its own search engine. The company recently rebranded its Bard AI chatbot to Gemini and announced a new Android app that could be used to replace Google Assistant on Android devices.