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Search Engine You.com Launches ChatGPT-Style Chatbot, But Don't Trust It Fully Yet

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.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google | Internet Culture
Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Imad Khan
Ian Sherr
3 min read
You.com search engine

You.com is a search engine that now has a ChatGPT-style chatbot.

You.com

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."

you.com chatbot world cup
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you.com chatbot world cup

You.com answers who won the World Cup in 2022 but says the event happened in Russia. It was held about 3,000 miles away, in Qatar.

You.com

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.

A response from ChatGPT asked to write code.

An example of ChatGPT writing code based on a simple prompt.

OpenAI

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.

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.