What to Know About the AI Updates Coming to Google Search

No waitlist and a whole bunch of a new features have users buzzing about Google Bard.

Detailed AI answers, shopping solutions, and a sneak-preview app available now: Google just announced a raft of artificial intelligence updates for its popular search engine.

The Search Generative Experience, or SGE, could usher in a new era for Google. The new changes were all just announced at I/O 2023, an annual Google event aimed at software developers.

Here’s what it all means for the average user.

AI-Generated Search Answers

Calling Google a popular search engine is an understatement. These days, “Googling” is just the general term for looking something up online. But now the tech giant is planning to make one of the biggest updates in its history — shifting its focus from sending users to other websites and towards giving users their own custom-tailored AI-generated answer.

Google search AI answer

Users will get a paragraphs-long AI answer, similar to what you’d see from generative text bots like ChatGPT. Follow up questions will be suggested, and their answers will include the same context established from the initial query, Google says.

The idea is that AI can answer more complex questions than just a simple search engine.

Shopping With Generative AI

Google’s Shopping Graph has more than 35 billion product listings, and those can also be accessed through AI. Most people tend to search for big purchases online before they make a decision, so Google is giving them reviews, ratings, prices, and images for each product searched.

According to Google, at least, AI will ensure that everything is up to date and relevant.

Google Isn't the Only AI Innovator

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They’ll have to stay on the ball to make that a reality, though: Plenty of critics have argued that Amazon lost the battle against counterfeit products several years ago.

No Waitlist for Bard

Google’s AI chatbot Bard is getting more features and it is also losing the waitlist, so you’ll be able to start trying it out sooner.

The news comes a week after Microsoft dropped its own waitlist for Bing’s ChatGPT, so this looks like another sign of a big tech rivalry.

Here are the details, from our own coverage of the announcement:

“Announced at Google’s I/O event, where AI was very much the running theme of the occasion, the company revealed that Bard was to be rolled out to 180 countries and regions, after initially launching two months ago in the US and UK. It will also support Japanese and Korean language, with 40 more expected soon.”

Try Out the Search Generative Experience

The actual AI answers and product recommendations won’t arrive on Google.com for a while. But if you want to try a preview experience, check out the Search Generative Experience for Chrome desktops and on mobile within the Google App (Android and iOS).

The preview is only available in the US and in English for now. If you want to get a head start on all the AI updates, check it out today.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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