Google is set to revolutionize how it presents search results, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) conversations, short videos, and social media posts into its definitive list of website results.
The move marks a significant departure from the dominant search engine's decades-old format, informally known as the "10 blue links."
These changes come in response to the rapid evolution of how people access information on the internet, including the rise of AI bots like ChatGPT. Google aims to make its search engine more "visual, snackable, personal, and human," focusing on serving young people worldwide.
As part of this shift, Google plans to incorporate more human voices and support content creators as it has historically done with websites.
At its annual I/O developer conference this coming week, Google is expected to unveil new features that allow users to carry out conversations with an AI program, a project code-named "Magi."
For years, Google has made minimal tweaks to the look and feel of its search engine, which generated more than $162 billion in revenue last year. However, the fast rise of AI chatbots and short-video apps like TikTok, popular among younger users, has prompted the company to change its approach.
Google's new strategy emphasizes responding to queries that traditional web results cannot quickly answer. Users may be prompted to ask follow-up questions or swipe through visuals such as TikTok videos in response to their queries.
The search engine has already integrated some online forum posts and short videos into its search results, but it plans to emphasize such material even more.
According to a Google spokeswoman, the search engine has "always been an incredibly dynamic, rapidly evolving sector." The company's long-term approach to changing the service includes integrating AI and visual features while delivering high-quality information and supporting a healthy, open web.
Google's dominance in search is facing challenges from new AI-powered apps, such as ChatGPT, which has pushed Google's leadership to speed up work on similar products. Smaller search engines are also racing to incorporate conversational AI features, hoping to win users by moving faster than Google.
Despite concerns about AI chatbots fabricating information and sources, Google executives stress that search products using conversational AI features should not upset website owners by including source links. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, one of the potential new search features will allow users to ask follow-up questions to their original queries.
Google's shift toward more user-generated content in search results raises many thorny issues, such as spreading false and misleading information. The company acknowledges the need to refine its definition of "trusted" content and plans to provide attribution and literacy tools to enable confidence in using the content.
- Google's Project "MAGI" Revolutionizes Search with Visual, Snackable, Personal, and Human AI - TechStory
- Google Retools to Stay at the Top of Search - WSJ
- Google Should Be Wary of Bing and ChatGPT, but It Should Avoid Hastily Adopting AI - TechRadar
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