Google’s AI-Powered Tool Summarizes Web Pages for Instant Insights

Google’s AI-Powered Tool Summarizes Web Pages for Instant Insights

Search Generative Experience will include coding tips and instantly viewable definitions.

imad-khan
imad-khan

Imad Khan Senior Reporter

Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom’s Guide and Wired, among others. He also hosts FTW with Imad Khan, an esports news podcast in association with Dot Esports.

Expertise Google, Internet Culture

Google’s AI-powered version of Search, called Search Generative Experience, is getting a major update in the Google App and soon in the Chrome web browser. SGE will be able to summarize web pages and also show you definitions of words you may be unfamiliar with, Google said in a blog post Tuesday. 

Google’s new “SGE while browsing” can be enabled in the company’s experimental Search Labs section. It’ll use Google’s AI to generate a bulleted list of key points from information on the page you’re browsing. The feature is available in the Google App on both Android and iOS, and Google says it’s coming to Chrome in the days ahead. Google says this will work on some of the web pages you visit when you click the “generate” button at the bottom of the Google App. You’ll also see a list of questions the web page answers and be able to jump to parts of the page with the relevant information. 

Recently, some publishers, including The New York Times, have told Google and other services that their articles can’t be crawled to feed AI engines. It’s uncertain exactly how the “SGE while browsing” feature will work with news sites like the Times, though Google’s blog post notes that the feature won’t provide key points for content marked as paywalled.

“‘SGE while browsing’ generates the key points of an article to help people find what they’re looking for more easily, it’s not training an AI model,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. They added that Google would be working with publishers on how best content can be used to feed its AI engines, although what that may entail was abstractly worded. 

The rapid rise of generative AI has, for the first time in a long time, created competition for Google in the information gathering space. Following the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT late last year, Google was quick to expand and promote AI among its products. At Google I/O earlier this year, the company announced Search Generative Experience, which integrates AI-generated answers into results, among other features.

There’s been a glut of companies releasing AI-powered tools and products this year, and some analysts estimate that generative AI could add $4.4 trillion in value to the global economy annually. The technology is expected to reshape everything from the way we work to how we get information. As adoption of generative AI tools has exploded, critics have voiced concern about the possibility of built-in bias and the potential to use these tools to spread disinformation. 

At the moment, Google’s SGE isn’t open to everyone and requires people to sign up. There’s no timeline on when this version of AI Search will go live to the public. 

Other features coming to SGE include having definitions integrated into AI-generated results. For example, if you search for “what is the most common element on the periodic table,” in the AI-generated result you can hover your mouse over the word “proton” and a pop-up will appear with the definition. 

SGE will also provide answers to how-to coding questions and suggest code for common tasks. Code will also be color-coded, making it easier to identify elements. 

Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.

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