Google’s AI-powered search rolls out to 120 countries, including SA

  • Google has announced that its generative AI in search is being expanded globally to reach a further 120 countries, including those in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The AI-powered search will be an opt-in offering for those in South Africa via Search Labs.
  • The experience is limited to English for now.

The focus on generative AI continues for Google as the tech giant has announced that AI-powered search is set to reach many more countries. This as it has been expanded to a further 120, including some of those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and in particular South Africa.

The offering will be opt-in in South Africa as part of the Search Generative Experience (“SGE”) in the SSA region via Search Labs. Google also confirms that the AI-powered search will be an English language experience only for now.

Should the company continue with the AI search’s development and improvement, hopefully greater localisation will be in the offing too.

“This powerful new technology can unlock entirely new types of questions that Search could not previously answer, and transforms the way information is organized in Search to help people sort through and make sense of what’s out there,” evangelises Google of its capabilities in a press release sent to Hypertext.

According to Google, the AI-powered search will be better than the current offering from the company as it will provide greater context, as well as removing a lot of the clutter and potential confusion that arises from sponsored results and ads often featuring alongside regular search answers.

That said, Google has confirmed that ads will appear in search results, but should be far easy to identify compared to regular search.

“For instance, with a question like ‘Does Honey ever Spoil?’ Normally, you might break this question down into smaller ones, sort through the vast amount of information available, and then start to piece things together yourself. With generative AI, Search can do some of that heavy lifting,” noted Google.

“SGE first delivers an overview, and beneath this, users will see suggested next steps where they can simply tap a query like ‘What is the oldest honey ever eaten?‘, or type in a specific follow-up question. This conversational experience enables people to intuitively learn more about the topic they’re exploring. Context will be carried over from question to question, to help people more naturally continue their exploration,” it explained.

Access to the feature via Search Labs is expected to be available over the coming week, with sign up required via a Chrome desktop browser or the latest version of the Google app on Android and iOS.

[Image – Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash]


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