Google Unveils AI-Powered Search Engine

    Google Unveils AI-Powered Search Engine
    Last updated May 11, 2023
    Image credit: Google [via Gizmodo]


    • Google on Wednesday announced plans to infuse its search engine with more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology, three months after Microsoft’s Bing search engine began using similar technology.[1]
    • Google, whose shares jumped 4% Wednesday, unveiled the Search Generative Experience (SGE) at its annual I/O conference in Mountain View, California. It can respond to open-ended questions while still listing links to websites.[2]
    • SGE will still look and act like Google’s usual search bar, but if it detects that AI can be used to answer a question, that response will be at the top of the page. For example, if searching what the weather is in a city, it will show the forecast while also recommending clothing to wear and the links to sites where it found such information.[3]
    • The AI search — available in a few weeks to US users who apply for a waitlist — will be marked as experimental, with Google advising that AI-generated results will be more factual than conversational.[4]
    • After Microsoft announced in February that Bing would integrate OpenAI’s GPT technology, shares of Google's parent company, Alphabet, dipped. Google is reportedly attempting to catch up.[5]
    • This comes as Google also announced that Bard, its chatbot that’s only been available to people on a waitlist, will now be available to everyone in 180 countries in multiple languages.[1]


    Narrative A

    Google, which has already been using AI technology to bolster many search functions, is now breathing life into its widely popular search engine. Best of all, Google has decided to increase its focus on providing factual answers over having users interact with a gimmicky chatbot. It’s going to be difficult to cut into Google’s share of the search market.

    Narrative B

    Don’t celebrate the continuation of Google’s reign over the search world just yet. First, Google must figure out how to maintain its revenue flow if it’s going to be pushing down the paid-for text responses in favor of its AI response. Second, Google suffered a wonky rollout of Bard in February, which cost it big time. So we don’t know how well SGE is going to perform until it’s put into action.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that Google will be supplanted as the top search engine in the US by market share by April 2041, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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