Google announced today that it is beginning to open access to new generative AI capabilities in Search, after teasing them at its I/O event two weeks ago. The tech giant is opening up access to Search Labs, a new program that allows people to sign up for experiments, including the Search Generative Experience, and test them before they are released more widely.
If you’ve signed up for Search Labs, you’ll be notified by email when you can start testing the new generative AI features in Search. If you haven’t signed up and would like to, you can do so by tapping the Labs icon in the latest version of the Google app (Android and iOS) or on the Chrome desktop.
Once you’re in the experiment, the new generative AI-powered search experience will help you understand a topic faster and get things done more easily, says Google.
This new update makes it easy for users to get started with a new or complicated topic, according to Google. Let’s say you’re looking for information on a topic that you would normally have to break down into separate questions. Search now provides an AI-powered snapshot so you can understand what factors to consider when typing a query, such as “learn ukulele vs guitar.”
The Search Generative Experience can also provide quick tips for specific questions. For example, if you search for things like “How do I get an old coffee stain out of a wool sweater” or “How can I renew my passport quickly”, you can easily find clues to the most important information you need to know, or view a range of available options and take the next step using the internet.
In addition, the new search experience also has a Shopping integration. Google notes that you can search for things like “Peel and stick wallpaper for kitchen” to learn more about key factors, such as whether it’s easy to remove, and get a list of options, including price, customer reviews and links to buy.
To explore further, you can select the “ask a follow-up question” option or select a suggested next step, which will take you to conversation mode where you can ask Google more about the topic you’re researching. The context is transferred from question to question.
“This experiment is our first step in adding generative AI to Search, and we will be making many updates and improvements over time,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we continue to think about how we can make it even more natural and intuitive to find what you’re looking for, we’re excited for you to try these new capabilities and share feedback along the way.”