Google is expanding the availability of its generative AI-powered search engine, known as Search Generative Experience (SGE), to new markets outside of the US. The company considers SGE to be an experiment, and it will soon be rolling out the software in India and Japan to gauge its effectiveness in different languages and at scale.
In India, the SGE app will support both Hindi and English languages, as well as voice search and audio responses. Users in both Japan and India will have the option to opt into using SGE.
Alongside expanding its presence outside of the US, Google is also improving how links to web pages appear in generative AI responses. The company has added arrows next to generative AI answers, which indicate drop-down menus that show the websites the search engine extracted its information from.
Google has provided some insights into the early reception of SGE. According to Hema Budaraju, senior director of product management for Search, users between the ages of 18 and 24 exhibit the highest satisfaction rate. These users particularly appreciate the ability to ask follow-up questions to their initial queries, as it allows them to refine their searches and find answers quickly.
Budaraju stated in a blog post that users are now submitting longer and more conversational queries because of the generative AI capabilities in Search, which can help them discover the information they are looking for. This, in turn, has created new opportunities for Google to assist users with their queries.
In terms of Google’s business model, Budaraju reassured that users are still encountering ads either above or below the large SGE box on the screen. Given that Google derives the majority of its revenue from ad sales, it was crucial to integrate ads alongside the SGE box during the search engine’s reinvention. By acknowledging that ads are present in SGE, Google aims to alleviate any concerns that this change would negatively impact its advertising business.
Nevertheless, Google is not the only company offering a generative AI-powered search engine. Microsoft has been providing its own version through Bing search for several months, giving it a significant head start over Google, which is still testing SGE.
Microsoft is actively vying for market share against Google by leveraging generative AI technology. In February, Microsoft stated that even capturing just 1% of the search market is valued at $2 billion.
Both Google and Microsoft are fiercely competing for dominance in the AI sector. Microsoft has been incorporating generative AI capabilities into its consumer and enterprise products, including Microsoft 365 productivity software.
In response, Google has come up with its Duet AI in Workspace and Duet AI in Google Cloud, adding to the competitive rivalry. Google has priced Duet AI in Workspace at $30 per month per user, matching Microsoft’s charge for its Microsoft 365 Copilot.
This ongoing competition between the two tech giants highlights their determination to establish themselves as leaders in the AI field. While Microsoft has made significant strides with its generative AI capabilities, Google is not far behind, continuously innovating to stay ahead.
In conclusion, Google’s expansion of its generative AI-powered search engine outside the US to markets in India and Japan represents a pivotal step in its experimentation with SGE. By analyzing its performance in different languages and at scale, Google aims to refine the search engine of the future, combining conversational AI with search capabilities. With the inclusion of ads alongside the SGE box and improved link visibility, Google is solidifying its position in the generative AI landscape. However, Microsoft remains a fierce competitor, steadily gaining ground with its own generative AI-powered search engine. The battle for AI supremacy continues to unfold, with both companies investing heavily in this transformative technology.