NEWS21 May 2024

Google to add generative AI to search

AI Innovations News North America Technology

US – Google is launching generative artificial intelligence (AI) features in its Google Search platform in the US.

Google HQ

In a blog from Liz Reid, vice-president of search at Google, the company said the new Gemini AI model customised for Google Search would combine Gemini’s features, such as multi-step reasoning, planning and multimodality, with search functions.

The release includes AI Overviews, which has been tested on Search Labs and will now be released in the US, which aims to use generative AI to allow users both a quick overview of a topic and links to learn more.

The addition of Gemini AI will allow AI Overviews to help with more complex questions, such as those including caveats and nuances.

Planning capabilities for meals and travel have also been added to Google Search, with customisation capabilities and more categories likely to be released later this year.

Search will use generative AI to brainstorm ideas and create an AI-organised results page, as well as the ability to ask questions with video.

“Over the past 25 years, across many technological shifts, we’ve continued to reimagine and expand what Google Search can do,” the blog. We’ve meticulously honed our core information quality systems to help you find the best of what’s on the web. And we’ve built a knowledge base of billions of facts about people, places and things — all so you can get information you can trust in the blink of an eye.

“Now, with generative AI, Search can do more than you ever imagined. So you can ask whatever’s on your mind or whatever you need to get done — from researching to planning to brainstorming — and Google will take care of the legwork.”

Dirk Steffen, technology clients practice lead at Kantar, said in reaction to the release: “From a user perspective, the combination of AI generated summaries alongside the original sources seems like the right approach for Google. This way users can enjoy the comfort of an intelligent agent doing the legwork for them, while still being able to check sources and go to the original and underlying content for verification and further details. 

 “Will the move result in fewer ad impressions, and will Google need to evolve their business model to monetise AI in addition to Search? Very likely. But this feels like a step in the right direction to improve the user experience and ensure the platform stays relevant for users.”