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Google rolls out AI Overviews and adds generative AI to search

By Ken Wong - on 15 May 2024, 5:19am

Google rolls out AI Overviews and adds generative AI to search

Liz Reid the Head of Google Search

At Google I/O 2024 the company announced AI Overviews, its Gemini generative AI model for Google Search, will now be the default result for search results. With AI Overviews, your results give you a general sense of the answer to your query along with links to resources for more information.  

In a blog post, Liz Reid the Head of Google Search, with generative AI is that Google can do more of the searching, simplifying, researching, planning, brainstorming and so much more for you. It does this by performing multi-step reasoning. It takes your whole question and breaks it down into parts and works out the questions it needs to solve and in what order they should be answered in.

Ask Google Search your whole multi-part question.

According to Reid, AI Overviews rather than breaking your question into multiple searches, you can ask your most complex questions, with all the nuances and caveats you have in mind, all in one go. For example, if you were looking for a new yoga or pilates studio, and wanted one that was popular with locals, conveniently located for your commute, and offered discounts for new members. With just one search, you’d be able to ask, “Find the best yoga or pilates studios and show me details on their intro offers and walking time from my home.”

You multi-step response from Google Search.

You’ll also be able to plan with Search as well. With planning capabilities directly in Search, you can get help creating plans for whatever you need. For example, search for something like “Create a 3-day meal plan for a group that’s easy to prepare,” and you’ll get a starting point with a wide range of recipes from across the web. Changes like swapping to a vegetarian dish can be easily made as well. Even better, you can quickly export your meal plan to Docs or Gmail if needed.

Want an idea for something to do? Search will use generative AI to brainstorm with you and create an AI-organized results page that makes it easy to explore. You’ll see helpful results categorised under unique, AI-generated headlines, featuring a wide range of perspectives and content types. For English searches in the U.S., you’ll start to see this new AI-organized search results page when you look for inspiration — starting soon with dining and recipes, followed by movies, music, books, hotels, shopping and more.

From today, AI Overviews will begin rolling out to everyone in the United States, with more countries coming soon. According to Reid, Google expect to bring it to over a billion people by the end of the year.

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