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Google Unveils AI Tool to Summarize Web Content

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Lars Langenstueck
Lead Editor
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Google is rolling out a significant update to its AI-driven version of Search, known as Search Generative Experience (SGE). This update, which is currently available in the Google App and will soon be introduced in the Chrome web browser, is designed to enhance users’ browsing experience by summarizing web pages and providing instant definitions for unfamiliar words, as announced in a recent Google blog post.

The new feature, termed “SGE while browsing,” can be activated within Google’s experimental Search Labs section. Once enabled, this tool utilizes Google’s advanced AI algorithms to produce a concise, bulleted list of key points extracted from the content of the webpage a user is viewing. This feature is currently accessible through the Google App on both Android and iOS platforms, and Google has confirmed its forthcoming availability in the Chrome browser.

When users click the “generate” button at the bottom of the Google App, the feature will activate for certain web pages, presenting a list of questions that the page answers and allowing users to navigate directly to the relevant sections of the page.

However, the implementation of this feature has raised questions, especially regarding its compatibility with news sites that have restricted their content from being crawled by AI engines, such as The New York Times. Google’s blog post clarifies that the “SGE while browsing” feature will not extract key points from content that is behind a paywall.

In response to inquiries, a Google spokesperson emphasized that the “SGE while browsing” feature is designed to help users find information more efficiently and is not intended for training AI models. Google is actively engaging with publishers to determine the most appropriate ways to utilize their content in conjunction with its AI systems, although the specifics of these arrangements remain vaguely defined.

This development comes amidst the burgeoning competition in the information aggregation sector, fueled by the rapid advancement of generative AI technologies. Following the debut of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google has been swift to integrate and promote AI capabilities across its range of products.

Analysts have noted a surge in the release of AI-powered tools and products, with some estimating that generative AI technologies could contribute up to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy. These technologies are anticipated to revolutionize various aspects of daily life, from work processes to information acquisition. However, this proliferation of AI tools has also sparked concerns regarding inherent biases in AI and the potential misuse of these tools to disseminate false information.

Currently, access to Google’s SGE is limited, requiring interested users to sign up, and there is no specified timeline for when this version of AI Search will become publicly available.

Additional features slated for release in SGE include the integration of definitions within AI-generated search results and the provision of answers to coding-related queries, complete with suggested code snippets that are color-coded for clarity.

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