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Google to offer AI-generated answers in search results

Google has announced it would introduce AI-generated answers to online queries made by users in the United States, in one of the biggest updates to its search engine in 25 years.

“I’m excited to announce that we will begin launching this fully revamped experience, ‘AI overviews,’ to everyone in the US this week,” Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said at an event in California on Tuesday, May 14.

Google’s search results will feature an AI summary at the top of the page before the more typical unfurling of links.

The AI answers generated by Google’s Gemini technology will offer succinct summaries of what it found on the internet with links to the online sources that supplied the information.

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“You can ask whatever’s on your mind or whatever you need to get done – from researching to planning to brainstorming – and Google will take care of the legwork,” said Google Search team boss Liz Reid.

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The change comes as Google feels growing pressure from AI-powered search engines like Perplexity, and from the rumors that OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, is building its own AI search tool.

Searches through AI chats have also appeared on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, with users able to get information from the web without Google.

The change will soon spread to other countries, Pichai added, making it accessible to more than a billion people.

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