Google has introduced a new experimental version of its search engine called Search Generative Experience (SGE). Unlike traditional Google Search, SGE incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) to provide answers directly on the search results page. The AI-powered feature generates novel responses similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT. The information is sourced from websites and links used to generate the answer, and users can ask follow-up questions for more precise results.
Currently, SGE is not available to the public and requires users to sign up for Google's Search Labs. However, the waitlist is open for interested users outside the limited release in the United States, exclusively in English. SGE's launch comes in the wake of the popularity of AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which can provide unique answers to a wide range of queries. Other companies, including Microsoft, have also integrated generative AI features into their products.
Google's emphasis on AI was evident at its annual developers conference, Google I/O, where the technology was mentioned more than 140 times. According to Google's vice president of engineering, Cathy Edwards, SGE aims to streamline the search process by eliminating the need for users to break down complex queries and sift through multiple websites.
To join the waitlist for Search Labs and be among the first to try SGE, users need to open the Chrome browser on a computer, sign in to their Google account, open a new tab, and click the Labs icon (a beaker) if available. Then, they can click "Join Waitlist" and will receive an email notification when Labs becomes accessible.
SGE, as part of Search Labs, offers experimental features such as Code Tips, which provides coding suggestions directly in the search results, and Add to Sheets, which automatically imports information from search results into Google Sheets.
While using SGE, users are required to agree to Google's privacy notice and are advised not to share sensitive or confidential personal information. During the trial period, some data will be analyzed by human reviewers, although it will not be associated with users' Google accounts. Users have the option to delete their interactions through the My Activity page.
Google cautions users about the limitations of generative AI, acknowledging that its accuracy may vary and cautioning against relying on it for professional services such as medical, legal, or financial advice.
SGE can be accessed through the Chrome desktop web browser or the Google apps for Android and iOS.