How Google’s New AI Search Engine Will Help Users ‘Get Things Done More Easily’
In an effort to stay on the cutting edge (and also maintain its monopoly in the search engine space), Google has unleashed the power of AI, fusing its search results with generative artificial intelligence technology. The new initiative, which is similar to the viral OpenAI ChatGPT chatbot was unveiled during Google’s recently held annual I/O conference, whereby the tech giant confirmed it planned to leverage AI across “all of its products”. According to the company, AI will now sit “front and centre” in Google’s strategy, representing the most significant changes to Google search in at least a decade.
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Specifically, Google’s revamped search engine will take advantage of AI text generation to help “unlock entirely new types of questions you never thought Search could answer, and transform the way information is organised”. Dubbed the “Search Generative Experience” or SGE, this is a new tool that will use generative AI to understand your query better, “uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily.” For the record, SGE is completely different from Bard, another AI-powered writing tool Google debuted a few months back.
SGE is meant to provide users with a more human-like feel as if they were conversing with an actual person rather than some sort of a computer program. Despite the massive overhaul, you will still need to type out your query like usual and the search engine will continue to provide results in the form of website links, content excerpts, and ads.
However, the revamped search results page will feature a colourful window right on the top, which will present users with a suitable AI-generated answer. Alongside the answer, you will find the links to the sources of that information and you can continue to ask follow-up questions by tapping a button at the bottom of the page.
Google explained the workings of this new generative AI search by presenting an example, where a user asks the search engine a question as to which national park will be better for a family with a dog and kids aged under three. When responding to the query, Google’s new search engine did all the complex research, consolidating different information on the child and dog-friendly policies of national parks to come up with a suitable answer, saying: “Both Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks are family-friendly. Although both parks prohibit dogs on unpaved trails, Bryce Canyon has two paved trails that allow dogs.”
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In another example using e-bikes, Google’s algorithms came up with a concise bullet-point summary of product reviews from a bunch of different websites, along with links to online stores where the product can be bought. However, there are instances where the answers can be wrong and the company says that it’s looking to improve these by gathering user feedback. Ads continue to be a big part of the search experience, and Google is “committed to continue sending valuable traffic to sites across the web.”
,”We also believe that ads are a vital piece of how the web works, and help people find relevant products and services,” Google’s vice president & GM of Search, Elizabeth Reid, said in a blog post. “In this new generative experience, Search ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. And we’ll continue to uphold our commitment to ads transparency and making sure ads are distinguishable from organic search results.”
This new version of search is now available in the US via a new feature called Search Labs and can be accessed via Chrome desktop and the Google App on both Android and iOS devices.