Google is bringing its artificial intelligence search engine to India and Japan

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is expanding the availability of the generative, AI-powered version of its search engine, called the Search Generative Experience (SGE), outside the United States. The software, which the company says is still in beta, will soon be available in India and Japan.

SGE is serving as a testbed for a future in which Google search intertwines with the conversational interface of an AI-powered chatbot. India and Japan will allow Google to better measure how SGE works at scale in different languages.

In India, the app will provide support for both Hindi and English, as well as voice search and voice responses. Users in both Japan and India will have to opt in to use SGE.

In addition to increasing the program’s presence outside the US, Google says it is improving the way links to web pages appear in productive AI responses. Now, the company explained, the generative AI answers will have arrows next to them indicating drop-down lists that, when clicked, will display the websites from which the search engine got its information.

Google is bringing generative AI to its search engine. But it’s just a test for now. (photo: google)

Google also provided a range of insights into how SGE will be received by early adopters. According to Hema Budaraju, Senior Director of Search Product Management, Google sees the highest satisfaction rate among users between the ages of 18-24. In particular, Boudarajo explains in a blog post, these users would love to be able to ask follow-up questions to their initial search queries.

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“People tell us they find suggested follow-up questions useful to see examples of how they can improve their search, and they ask longer, more conversational questions in complete sentences because generative AI in search can help them quickly find what they’re looking for,” Boudarago said.

“In general, we’re seeing people try queries they never thought they could search for before, which creates new opportunities for Google to be useful.”

More importantly, for Google’s business, Budarago says, users find ads either above or below the large SGE box on the screen. Google gets the bulk of its revenue from ad sales, and reinventing the search engine experience means having to figure out how to co-exist with the SGE fund. By acknowledging that users will still find ads in SGE, Google is looking to allay any concerns that the change will be negative for its advertising business.

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However, SGE is not the only AI-powered search engine in town. Microsoft (MSFT) has been offering its generative AI-powered version of Bing search for months now, giving it a significant lead over Google, which is still testing SGE.

Microsoft intends to steal market share from Google little by little by moving forward in the field of generative AI. And in February, the Windows manufacturer said it had just 1% of the $2 billion search market share.

The two companies are locked in a back-and-forth struggle as they will escape with the crown of artificial intelligence. Microsoft is adding creative AI capabilities to both its consumer and enterprise products, including Microsoft 365 productivity software.

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On Tuesday, Google responded with Duet AI in Workspace and Duet AI in Google Cloud. Adding to the competitive edge, Google has priced Duet AI in Workspace at $30 per month per user, the same amount Microsoft charges for Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Daniel Holly He is the Technology Editor at Yahoo Finance. He has been covering the tech industry since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @Daniel Holly.

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