The recently concluded Google I/O 2023 hosted several product and software-related announcements, including the introduction of Labs before they were added to services like search or workspace. Meanwhile, Search Labs is a subset that allows users to test under-development AI features to the world’s most used search engine. While there was initially some uncertainty as to who would have access to the new Search Lab experiences, Google’s AI generator is now rolling out to testers in the US.
The company has shown off three demos of its new search generator experience ahead of the limited planned rollout. Originally aimed at gaining insights into complex topics, Google offered AI-powered “snapshots”, followed by an option to “dive deeper” for more information, backed by relevant articles. It also showed a direct response to a specific query, complete with information based on your geography. A final example integrates e-commerce with generative AI, identifying specifications and evaluation levels and responding to questions about products you offer.
Meanwhile, many users who signed up to try the Google Search Labs tests on the first day have already started getting access to the program. After signing up, a beaker icon will appear in the top left corner of your Google Search app. For those invited, tapping this icon will now display a request offer to “test with Search Labs.” Tapping get started This will take you to a screen where you can choose between two tests: SGEOr seek generative experience, and Code tipsA place where AI offers to help you with coding questions in Google Search.
Google’s examples seem to work pretty well, like answering questions about products and providing AI snapshots for queries that typically provide a knowledge panel. But the rest of the experience in these early stages is a little rough around the edges. Some questions will be answered automatically with AI, while others will only provide a generate button to trigger a bard-like reaction.
There is something new. Talk to each other A button that takes you to a chat-like interface to make it easier to ask follow-up questions, but this is similar to other early AI limitations – ie, it’s like typing a message here, save more context for your previous message, so responses from an AI chatbot are hit or miss, and sometimes with a simple Google search. Results will be replaced.
If you are not yet on the Search Labs waiting list, you can sign up at labs.google.com/search. While an entry isn’t promised instantly, it’s a first-come, first-served system for Google One Premium subscribers and Pixel Superfans alike. Google notifies people when they enter a special listing. Once signed in, the new Generative AI features in Search can be accessed by opening Google Search on Android or the web, tapping Labs, or accessing the Search Lab URL above.
There are still some roadblocks that limit Google from getting a broader view of its AI capabilities. However, the company intends to make search-generating AI capabilities available to more people around the world. In contrast, the search giant’s AI chatbot Google Bard is currently available in 180 countries in three languages.