- With SGE’s generative AI capabilities in Search, you will see an AI-powered overview of key information to consider, with links to dig deeper.
- In any case you have ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of information online, the new feature is designed to help find answers more quickly.
Google has rolled out its Search Generative Experience (SGE) across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as an opt-in experiment in Search Labs.
This AI-powered experience, which is currently available in English, marks a significant leap into Google’s capabilities of its search engine.
Beyond SSA, the feature is also available in Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish languages.
Speaking during a media roundtable, Search general manager in Africa Wambui Kinya said SGE is a way of reimagining what Google Search can do.
She added that this new technology can unlock entirely new types of questions that Search could not previously answer.
“It also transforms the way information is organized in Search to help people sort through and make sense of what’s out there,” she said.
Kinya added that the generative AI search experience is however going to be completely different from Google Bard as the former is more conversational and powered by the web compared to Bard which is more creative and personal.
Below are some of the things you can expect to see and interact with on Google’s generative AI experience in Search.
Improving Search with generative AI
With SGE’s generative AI capabilities in Search, you will see an AI-powered overview of key information to consider, with links to dig deeper.
In any case you have ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of information online, the new feature is designed to help find answers more quickly.
For instance, with a question like “Why is palm oil used so much?” normally, you might break this question down into smaller ones, sort through the vast amount of information available, and then start to piece things together yourself.
With generative AI, Search has been designed to do some of that heavy lifting.
On the Search page, SGE will first deliver an overview, and beneath this, users will see suggested next steps where they can simply tap a query.
This may include questions like “What is the biggest problem with palm oil?”, or one can alternatively type in a specific follow-up question.
Google noted that this conversational experience enables people to intuitively learn more about the topic they’re exploring.
“Context will be carried over from question to question, to help people more naturally continue their exploration,” Google said.
Featuring a wide range of voices and sources
Google terms insights from others as useful when making decisions hence they have designed new experiences to highlight and drive attention to content on the web.
This seeks to make it easy for people to dive deeper into the topic they’re learning about.
As generative AI makes its way into Search, Google has affirmed its commitment to continue sending valuable traffic to sites across the web.
With SGE, Google will be showing more links, and links to a wider range of sources on the results page, to create new opportunities for content to be discovered.
Kinya said ads are a vital piece of how the web works, and help people find relevant products and services.
“In this new generative experience, Search ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page,” she said.
“Google will continue to uphold its commitment to ads transparency and making sure ads are distinguishable from organic search results.”
She further noted that when Search ads appear, they will continue to feature industry-leading clear and transparent ad labels with the “Sponsored” tag in bold black text.
Model training approach
Using an image family of AI models in SGE, Google has trained the models to uphold Search’s high status for quality which is set to continue improving over time.
Having fine-tuned the systems, Google has said that it will also have additional guardrails such as limiting the types of queries where generative AI capabilities will appear.
Kinya noted the new generative AI capabilities in Search seeks to take more of the work out of searching.
“We’re imagining a supercharged Search that does the heavy lifting for you so you’ll be able to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily,” she said.
“You can also go back to the initial place where the conversation started.”
“This Search Generative Experience is the first step we’re taking in this journey, and part of our vision to make Search radically more helpful. We’re excited to bring this to the SSA region, and look forward to receiving feedback and iterating on the experience alongside our users over the next few months.”