Google Unleashes Generative AI to Search in Africa

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Google launched its Search Generative Experience (“SGE”) in the SSA region as an opt-in experiment in Search Labs on Wednesday, November 8.

This AI-powered experience is available in English.

Google is reinventing what a search engine can achieve with recent advancements in generative AI and delivering these powerful new capabilities to Search in a bold and responsible manner.

This powerful new technology can answer questions that Search could not previously answer, and it changes the way content is organized in Search to help consumers sort through and make sense of what’s out there.

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People will get an AI-powered overview of crucial facts to consider, with links to go deeper, thanks to SGE’s generative AI capabilities in Search.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available online, this will help you locate solutions faster.

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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.

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.

Featuring a wide range of voices and sources 

Hearing other people’s perspectives is always beneficial when making decisions, so Google has built these new experiences to emphasize and drive attention to content on the web, making it simple for users to delve deeper into the issue they’re learning about.

Google is committed to giving valuable traffic to sites throughout the web as generative AI finds its way into Search.

With SGE, Google displays more links and links from a broader range of sources on the results page, opening up additional avenues for content discovery.

Ads are an important part of how the internet operates because they help users locate relevant items and services. Search advertisements will continue to display in specific ad spots throughout the page in this new generative experience. Google will continue to fulfill its commitment to ad transparency and distinguishing advertising from organic search results.

When Search advertisements do appear, they will continue to use their industry-leading clear and visible ad labels, with the word “Sponsored” in bold black lettering.

Taking a responsible approach 

Google is adding new generative AI capabilities to Search in a responsible and intentional manner.

The company has trained the models employed in SGE to meet Search’s high quality standards, which will increase with time.

These signature systems have been fine-tuned for decades, but they will also have additional safeguards, such as limiting the types of searches where generative AI capabilities will show.

Wambui Kinya, General Manager for Search in Africa, said,

With new generative AI capabilities in Search, we’re now taking more of the work out of searching. We’re imagining a supercharged Search that does the heavy lifting for you so you’ll be able to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily. This Search Generative Experience is the first step we’re taking in this journey, and part of our vision to make Search radically more helpful. We’re excited to bring this to the SSA region, and look forward to receiving feedback and iterating on the experience alongside our users over the next few months.” 

Olugbenga Agboola

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