Google's AI-Powered Search Evolution: Imagining the Unseen
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Google is enhancing its Search platform with generative AI capabilities, introducing the Search Generative Experience (SGE) to select U.S. users. Launched on October 12, this update aims to make the search experience more innovative and user-centric.
SGE enables users to create AI-generated images and text by simply entering prompts into the search bar, rivaling other AI tools like Midjourney, DALL-E 2, and Microsoft’s GPT-4 powered Bing Chat. For instances where traditional search doesn't yield the desired results, SGE can aid users in visualizing unique ideas.
For example, while looking for creative inspirations like "minimalist Halloween decor," users can adjust the generated images to better fit their vision. Google illustrated this by describing an AI-generated image: a capybara chef in the forest. Users can tweak this description to further refine the image, such as changing the capybara's meal or altering the background.
However, as of now, this image generation feature is limited to U.S. participants aged 18 and above who've opted for the trial.
SGE is the fruit of Google's previous AI breakthroughs, including the BERT language processing engine and the more robust Multitask Unified Model (MUM). MUM and PaLM2, both powerhouses in language modeling, are central to SGE's capabilities, as highlighted at Google I/O 2023.
Addressing the increasing consumer fascination with AI, Google has placed AI at the heart of its Google Pixel 8 promotions. To demonstrate SGE's utility, Google showcased its ability to draft notes for specific tasks, like reaching out to contractors. Users can then modify these AI-created drafts before exporting them to Google Docs or Gmail.
Recognizing the potential pitfalls of generative AI, Google has incorporated safety measures to filter out harmful or deceptive content. Every SGE-generated image will be marked with a watermark and carry metadata, indicating its AI origin. The forthcoming tool, "About this image," will further help users determine an image's history and credibility.
In the future, Google envisions SGE aiding users by offering contextual information, like when shopping or searching for local services. Using Google’s Shopping Graph, SGE will furnish data such as reviews, prices, and other pertinent details.
Additionally, SGE will have implications for advertising. Although the exact role of generative AI in advertisements remains unspecified, Google assures that these ads will be easily distinguishable from regular search results, maintaining their commitment to transparency and user experience.
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