MOUNTAIN VIEW: Google said on Tuesday it would introduce AI-generated answers to online queries made by users in the United States, in one of the biggest updates to its search engine in 25 years.

“I’m excited to announce that we will begin launching this fully revamped experience, `AI overviews,’ to everyone in the US this week,” Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said at an event in California.

The feature would soon be available in other countries, he added.

With the change, many of Google’s search results will feature an AI “overview” at the top of the page before the more typical unfurling of links and features.

The search engine’s AI answers, generated by Google’s Gemini AI technology, offer a paragraph or two of explanation with links to the online sources that supplied the information.

“You can ask whatever’s on your mind or whatever you need to get done _ from researching to planning to brainstorming _ and Google will take care of the legwork,” said Google Search team boss Liz Reid.

The change seems to be an answer to growing pressure from AI-powered search engines like Perplexity and the repeated rumours that OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is building its own AI search tool.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2024

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