Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), which currently provides generative AI summaries at the top of the search results page for select users, is about to be much more available. Just six months after its debut at I/O 2023, the company announced Wednesday that SGE is expanding to Search Labs users in 120 countries and territories, gaining support for four additional languages and receiving a handful of helpful new features.
Unlike its frenetic rollout of the Bard chatbot in March, Google has taken a slightly more measured tone in distributing its AI search assistant. The company began with English language searches in the US in May, expanded to English-language users in India and Japan in August and on to teen users in September. As of Wednesday, users from Brazil to Bhutan can give the feature a try. In addition to English, SGE now supports Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Indonesian (in addition to the existing English, Hindi and Japanese) so you’ll be able to search and converse with the assistant in natural language, whichever form it might take. These features arrive on Chrome desktop Wednesday with the Search Labs for Android app versions slowly rolling out over the coming week.
Among SGE’s new features is an improved follow-up function where users can ask additional questions of the assistant directly on the search results page. Like a mini-Bard window tucked into the generated summary, the new feature enables users to drill down on a subject without leaving the results page or even needing to type their queries out. Google will reportedly restrict ads to specific, denoted, areas of the page so as to avoid confusion between them and the generated content. Users can expect follow-ups to start showing up in the coming weeks. They’re only for English language users in the US to start but will likely expand as Google continues to iterate the technology.
SGE will start helping with clarifying ambiguous translation terms as well. For example, if you’re trying to translate “Is there a tie?” into Spanish, both the output, the gender and speaker’s intention are going to change if you’re talking about a tie, as in a draw between two competitors (e.g. “un empate”) and for the tie you wear around your neck (“una corbata”). This new feature will automatically recognize such words and highlight them for you to click on, which pops up a window asking you to pick between the two versions. This is going to be super helpful with languages that, say, think of cars as boys but bicycles as girls, and you need to specify the version you’re intending. Luckily, Spanish is one of those languages and this capability is coming first to US users for English-to-Spanish translations.
Finally, Google plans to expand its interactive definitions normally found in the generated summaries for educational topics like science, history or economics to coding and health related searches as well. This update should arrive within the next month, again, first for English language users in the US before spreading to more territories in the coming months.