Google has launched Search Generative Experience (SGE), an experimental version of search that integrates artificial intelligence answers directly into results, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
Unlike a regular Google search that shows a list of blue links, SGE uses AI to answer your questions directly on the Google Search webpage. After typing a query into Google Search, a green or blue box expands with a novel response generated by Google’s large language model, such as the one powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Google retrieves this information from websites and links to sources used in generating an answer. It is also possible to ask follow-up questions in SGE for more accurate results.
Currently, SGE is not open to the public and requires a subscription to Google’s Search Labs. To join, click the link here. Search Labs is currently only available to a limited number of people in the US and in English only. However, you can put yourself on the waiting list. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With the launch of ChatGPT late last year, an AI chatbot that can answer almost any question with a unique answer, companies have added generative AI capabilities to their products in the face of increased public interest. Earlier this year, Google introduced Bard, an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT. Microsoft then added ChatGPT directly into Bing, including an AI image generator based on Dall-E, also from OpenAI. AI chatbots are based on a Large Language Model (LLM), a technology that uses a huge set of textual data to write sentences that mimic human speech. The model essentially aims to figure out what the next best word should be when generating sentences, a process described as “steroid autocomplete”.
AI was also a key topic at Google I/O, the search giant’s annual developer conference, earlier this month, with the term being mentioned more than 140 times during the two-hour presentation. During the I/O, Cathy Edwards, Google’s vice president of technology, said that a standard Google search requires people to break down complex queries into multiple questions, scour websites for information, and formulate the answer in their heads. With SGE, the AI can do all of this for you.
How to get on the Google Search Labs waitlist
To join the Search Labs waitlist to be among the first to test Google’s SGE:
Open the Chrome browser on a computer. Sign in to your Google account. Open a new tab in your browser. There is a Labs icon (in the shape of a mug) in the top right if Labs is available to you. If the Labs icon is available, click it there, then click Join Waitlist.
You will receive an email when Labs is available.
Part of Search Labs, SGE includes experimental features such as Code Tips, which provide coding suggestions directly in search, and Add to Sheets, a feature that can automatically pull information found in search into Google Sheets.
Google also warns about the follies of generative AI and that accuracy can vary. This likely refers to “hallucinations,” a problem with Generative AI where it can confidently say something is correct when it isn’t. Google recommends not relying on generative AI for medical, legal, financial, or other professional services.
Editor’s note: CNET uses an AI engine to create some personal finance statements, which are edited and fact-checked by our editors. See this post for more information. SGE can be accessed via the Chome desktop web browser or the Google apps for Android and iOS. a large language model