Google’s leaning further into generative AI, with a new element in Search that will enable you to create visuals from text prompts, so you can expand your discovery process beyond what you find in existing search results.
As you can see in this example, now, as part of its new Search Generative Experience (SGE), Google will enable you to enter image creation prompts directly into Search, which will then see the results provided in-stream.
As explained by Google:
“If you search for something like ‘draw a picture of a capybara wearing a chef’s hat and cooking breakfast,’ SGE will provide up to four generated images in the results. Tap on any of those images and you’ll see how generative AI has expanded your initial query with descriptive details, like ‘a photorealistic image of a capybara wearing a chef’s hat and cooking breakfast in a forest, grilling bacon.’ From there, you can edit the description further to add even more detail and bring your vision to life.”
SGE users will also be able to create AI-generated images directly in Google Images as well, further expanding your discovery options in the app.
Finally, Google’s also adding a new writing assistant element within Search, that’ll enable you to put together queries and notes based on your Search activity.
“For example, perhaps you’re looking into home improvement projects, like how to convert your garage into a home office. After finding helpful ideas across the web and contractors you’d like to get in touch with, you can ask SGE to ‘Write a note to a contractor asking for a quote to turn my garage into a home office.’ From there, it's easy to export your draft to Google Docs or Gmail when you’re ready to add that personal touch.”
So it’s a digital assistant within Google Search, which could help to keep you on track, while also reducing the manual effort in putting together relevant queries, and other reports, based on what you find.
These are some handy updates, which will help to advance Google’s generative AI capacity, which it’s looking to iterate quickly, in order to keep up with Microsoft’s Bing, and the various AI updates that it’s integrated as a result of Microsoft’s investment into OpenAI.
Google had been looking to take a more cautious, patient approach to its AI development, but the launch of ChatGPT, and the subsequent consumer interest, has forced its hand somewhat, which has seen Google quickly building in more AI features to complement its various existing tools.
Because there’s no way that the Big G is going to give up any of its core search traffic without a fight.
Indeed, the Bing mobile app saw a 10x increase in downloads earlier this year, after adding in various AI elements, and much of the discussion then quickly shifted to how conversational AI will radically change online search and discovery habits.
That could pose a bigger challenge to Google’s Search dominance.
Google’s confident that it has the tools to compete on this front, having been working on similar AI tools for many years. But now, it needs to bring them into action, which it’s looking to do via its evolving SGE project.
It could be an important shift. If you’re interested in trying these new features out, Google says that you can sign up for these experiments through “Search Labs” in the Google app on Android, iOS, and on Chrome desktop.