September 4 2023: Earlier this year, Google introduced Search Generative Experience (SGE), in the US, enhancing search with generative AI capabilities.
On August 31, it extended an SG-fuelled search option to two more markets: India and Japan, which share the distinction of seeing the first international availability of the new AI extension outside the US.
The new extension offers AI-Generated answers to a user’s query, which can now be more conversational.
In a blog aimed at Indian users Puneesh Kumar, General Manager, Google Searchwrites:
“With new breakthroughs in generative AI, we’re again reimagining what a search engine can do. With this powerful new technology, we can unlock new types of questions you never thought Search could answer, and transform the way information is organized, to help you sort through and make sense of what’s out there. We’re rolling out SGE as an experiment in Search Labs in India in English and Hindi.
“Let’s take a question like “Which is a good beginner trek in Himachal and how to prepare for it?” Normally, you might break this one question down into smaller ones, sort through the vast information available, and start to piece things together yourself. With generative AI, Search can do some of that heavy lifting for you.”
“You’ll see an AI-powered overview of key information to consider, with links to dig deeper. Below this snapshot, you’ll see suggested next steps where you can simply tap a query like “How to take great photos on a trek?”
Unique to India.
Some features are unique to India: You can switch from an English result to Hindi by tapping the language toggle button, listen to the response with Text-To-Speech by tapping the ‘Listen’ button, and -- soon— you’ll be able to tap the microphone icon in conversational mode to ask follow-up questions instead of typing them.
How to join
Users who want to invoke the AI-driven search enhancements, need to opt in by going to Google’s Lab site.
However I found that the easiest way was to type “Google Labs Search” in the Chrome app or Google app on the phone or on Chrome or Google icons on your desktop.
This will take you to a site which says “Sign up for search labs”. The rest is easy after you have selected your device: Android, iPhone or iPad or Compute.|
Once you have signed up a Google Labs icon (a Chemistry lab flask) adds itself to your Google or Chrome search page, assurance that hence forth any question you put in the search box generates two results: the normal Google search results and after about 20-30 seconds the response provided by the AI tool.
Try it. The results will always surprise, sometimes amaze you.
This article has appeared in our content partner Swarajya