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Google brings generative AI to Search in Africa

Google is introducing its Search Generative Experience (SGE) as an opt-in experiment in Search Labs, starting today, 9 November.

This AI-powered experience, available in English, marks a significant leap in redefining the capabilities of a search engine and how users interact with information.

The SGE leverages new breakthroughs in generative AI, ushering in a transformative era for Google Search.

The technology promises to unlock novel types of questions that were previously beyond the reach of traditional search engines, revolutionizing the way information is organized and accessed.

Improving Search Efficiency with Generative AI

Google’s SGE offers an AI-powered overview of key information, presenting users with a streamlined experience to consider and explore further.

This innovative approach aims to assist users who find themselves overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available online, helping them find answers more efficiently.

For example, when faced with a complex question like “Does Honey ever Spoil?” SGE provides an initial overview and suggests next steps, allowing users to seamlessly navigate to related queries or specific follow-up questions.

This conversational experience ensures a more intuitive and informed exploration.

Contextual Exploration and Diverse Perspectives

The SGE not only facilitates individual exploration but also maintains context from question to question, enabling users to naturally continue their journey of discovery.

To enrich the user experience, Google has designed SGE to feature a wide range of voices and sources.

The new experience emphasizes and directs attention to content on the web, encouraging users to delve deeper into the topics they are exploring.

As generative AI becomes integral to Search, Google remains committed to driving valuable traffic to websites across the internet, creating fresh opportunities for content discovery.

Ad Transparency and User-Centric Approach

Recognizing the importance of ads in supporting the web ecosystem, Google ensures that Search ads seamlessly integrate into the SGE.

Ad slots will continue to appear throughout the page, maintaining transparency and distinguishing sponsored content with clear and bold labels.

Google emphasizes its responsible and deliberate approach to introducing generative AI capabilities into Search.

The company has trained the models used in SGE to meet Search’s high standards for quality, with ongoing improvements.

The introduction of guardrails, including limitations on the types of queries where generative AI capabilities appear, reflects Google’s commitment to a responsible integration.

Wambui Kinya, General Manager for Search in Africa, expressed excitement about the potential of generative AI in Search.

“With new generative AI capabilities in Search, we’re now taking more of the work out of searching,” she said.

“We’re imagining a supercharged Search that does the heavy lifting for you, making 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.”

Users are encouraged to participate in the experiment, providing valuable feedback to shape the future of AI-powered search experiences.

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