Google unveils new AI features to search

STORY: Google is bringing more artificial intelligence to its core search product.

At its annual I/O conference in California on Wednesday, the tech giant unveiled its revamped search engine which can craft responses to open-ended queries.

For example, rather than just being able to find out what the weather is like, a consumer will be able to ask what to wear.

CEO of Google-parent Alphabet, Sundar Pichai.

“Seven years into our journey as an A.I. first company, we are at an exciting inflection point. We have an opportunity to make A.I. even more helpful for people, for businesses, for communities, for everyone.”

U.S. consumers will be able to gain access to a trial version of Google’s revamped search engine, called the Search Generative Experience, in the coming weeks via a wait list.

Google’s upgrade – introducing generative AI, which creates brand new content like fully formed text, images, and code using past data – will be integrated to existing products.

Consumers can look forward to AI drafting messages on Gmail, and more advanced photo editing on Google Photos.

Google’s foray into generative AI comes after the startup OpenAI introduced ChatGPT in late 2022, which launched a furious funding race among would-be competitors.

OpenAI, backed by billions of dollars from Microsoft, has become for many the default version of generative AI. Users have used it to spin up term papers, contracts, travel itineraries, even entire novels.

Since ChatGPT’s rollout, Google has found its perch as the top portal to the Internet in question, and at stake is Google’s estimated $286 billion search ad market.

At Monday’s conference, Google also took the wraps off its new foldable Pixel phone, and its new midrange smartphone the Pixel 7a.