Imagine if a person wants to do an online search for "how to cook a perfect steak". If they run that query in Google they will get results similar to this:
Here, the user has to wade through the list of results, many of which are paid advertisements, and hope that one of those is actually what they need. It is not a great experience, but this is the model we have on the Internet today.
Now let's compare that with the same results from Chat GPT:
The difference is dramatic: instead of a list of "maybe" answers that the user has to wade through, instead they get the answer directly from the AI.
From a user experience perspective, this is great! They get answers faster, without being exposed to lots of ads. Given that ad revenue is the number one source of revenue for Google however, you can see why they are so concerned about ChatGPT, and Microsoft, via their substantial investments in OpenAI who made ChatGPT, finally have a search product to compete against Google with.
But it is not just Google that will feel the impact of this.
Remember some human needs to sit down and write the process for cooking a perfect steak, and that person wants other people to find their website via Google. If ChatGPT is just giving users the answer directly, then the person receives zero traffic to their site, and no credit.
Basically, content creators may end up writing content simply to train the ChatGPT model, and subsequent generations of AI to give smarter answers. Once their content is consumed into the model of the AI, how will they receive any benefit?
The online search industry has been stale for decades, so I am happy to see new innovations. But as a content creator myself, I can't help but worry that we will be short changed once again.