Opera also places AI in its browser


Not to be left out of the ChatGPT excitement, Norwegian tech company Opera has announced it will soon include AI features into its browser, including a way to automatically generate summaries of articles and web pages.

“We see the rise of Generative Intelligence as the beginning of a new future in which consumer app developers like Opera will be able to build experiences on top of AI-based platforms”, Opera’s Head of Strategic Partnerships Per Wetterdal said in a statement.

“We are excited to see the rapid roll-out of developer programs for solutions such as Google Bard, for example, and are starting to build and roll out new experiences in web browsing that not very long ago seemed impossible to achieve”.

Opera’s AI offering is currently vague. It mentions adding “AI-generated content services” to the sidebar which could include the type of email and blog composition helper that Microsoft said is coming soon to the Edge browser.

What Opera has shown is a demo of its ‘Shorten’ feature which can summarize web pages into a set of bullet points.

Users will soon be able to press a button at the end of the URL bar which opens a window to ChatGPT with a pre-filled prompt asking it to summarize the article.

Opera has a 2.4 per cent share in the browser market which is very much dominated by Google with 65.4 per cent of internet users connecting with Chrome.

Apple’s Safari has the second biggest share at 18.7 per cent while Microsoft Edge has just a 4.5 per cent share in the market.

Opera’s AI browser offerings are a way off Microsoft’s full integration of the successor to GPT 3.5 (which powers ChatGPT) into Edge and Bing, which it announced last week.

A new browser war

Microsoft is trying to shave off a slice of Google’s search and browser dominance by leveraging its multi-billion-dollar investment into ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

Last week’s announcement of a new AI-powered Bing will see it use a combination of simply using the language model for basic queries and searching the web for more complex or timely answers, in what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has called a “new paradigm” for search.

That new paradigm has caught Google on the back foot and has opened space for smaller players like Opera to try and capitalize.

Google rushed out the announcement of Bard, its own ChatGPT-like addition to Google’s flagship product, and was punished by investors who dumped stock leading to a $140 billion (US$100 billion) share price rout after an ad for Bard featured an error.

Google staff are likewise unimpressed with the company’s newfound AI-integrated direction which has followed layoffs of around 12,000 staff (Microsoft has also cut 10,000 staff this year).

Internal messages reported on by CNBC have shown one Googler call the layoffs and Bard launch “rushed, botched, and myopic” with another saying senior leadership deserve a low performance review score because, accusing them of “being comically short-sighted and un-Googlely in their pursuit of ‘sharpening focus’”.

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