Alphabet’s Google will let users experiment with new features that display content created by artificial intelligence while they browse the web, as the company strives to maintain its edge in a market with new competitive threats.
Earlier this year, Google released “search generative experience,” or SGE, in which users can try an experimental version of its search engine that displays AI-generated responses above the customary list of results. The company said Tuesday the product would expand to let readers use the AI tool on websites beyond Google’s search engine to summarize longer articles and in-depth information.
The feature “was specifically designed to help people more deeply engage with long-form content from publishers and creators, and make it easier to find what you’re looking for while browsing the web,” Rany Ng, a Google vice president of product management for search, wrote in a blog post.
Google said users can “tap” to pull up an AI-generated list of key points covered by an article as well as access a feature to “explore on the page,” which provides a summary of questions answered by the report and links to relevant sections.
The company has been striving to reinvent its flagship search engine after Microsoft shook up the market by weaving technology from startup OpenAI into its Bing search engine.
Publishers are still grappling with the effects of generative AI, which can spin up text and images from simple prompts. Google said the new feature would generate summaries only for content that is free to read.
“It does not provide key points on articles marked as paywalled, and publishers are in control,” Ng wrote, adding that the company will “gather feedback and learn what works best for both publishers and users as we evolve this experiment over time.”
Google said users browsing web pages can “tap” to pull up an AI-generated list of key points covered by an article as well as access a feature to “explore on the page,” which provides a summary of questions answered in the article and links to jump to relevant sections.
Google also announced that it would begin displaying definitions within its AI-generated content and make it easier for people to use SGE for coding.
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