Google unveils AI-backed search for sub-Sahara

Google office signage. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Google is reimagining its user experience with the launch of a generative AI-powered search engine in the sub-Saharan African region on an experimental basis.

The new AI search feature, also known as Search Generative Experience (SGE), will become available through Google’s Search Labs and will run as an experiment indefinitely.

The new feature aims to make it easier to find information by unlocking new question types and reducing the number of prompts.

“With new generative AI capabilities in Search, we’re now taking more of the work out of searching. We’re imagining a supercharged Search that does the heavy lifting for you to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily,” said Wambui Kinya, general manager for Google Search in Africa.

“This Search Generative Experience is the first step we’re taking in this journey and part of our vision to make 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.”

Conversational queries

Google said users who ask follow-up questions are now making longer and more conversational queries in sentences compared to traditional Google searches, where users only type in a few keywords to start a query.

With SGE, Google shows more links and a range of sources on the results page, creating new opportunities to discover content.

Search advertisements will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots across the page.

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