Google has expanded its artificial intelligence-powered search experience, Search Generative Experience (SGE), to over 120 countries including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. SGE aims to make searching the internet easier by providing AI-generated overviews like summaries and definitions. The global rollout also adds support for Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Indonesian.
Launched earlier this year as Google’s response to Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing Chat, SGE allows more natural interactions with web content. Users can ask questions and get AI-generated complete sentence responses with links and references. Bing Chat is available in Microsoft Edge and Bing Search.
Since launching, Google has introduced key SGE updates to improve how users interact with online information. New features include AI summaries of long-form content, image generation, draft writing, definitions for unfamiliar words, and more.
In Africa, SGE rolls out as an opt-in experiment through Google Search Labs. Wambui Kinya, GM for Search in Africa, says, “With generative AI capabilities, we’re taking the work out of searching. This supercharged Search does the heavy lifting so you can understand topics faster, gain insights, and complete tasks more easily. SGE is the first step in this journey to make Search radically more helpful. We’re excited to bring this to Africa and iterate alongside users over the coming months.”
Alongside the global launch, Google is adding new SGE capabilities. One feature allows easier follow-up questions directly on results pages, removing the need to open new tabs. This provides a seamless way to seek more details or dive deeper into topics. Search ads will still appear in dedicated slots. The feature first launches in English in the US.
Another update improves translations. SGE will now ask for clarity on ambiguous words with multiple meanings. Users can also specify gender for translated words. This feature starts with English-Spanish translations in the US before expanding.
Additionally, definitions for unfamiliar words now cover coding and health. Previously limited to certain education terms, users can now hover over coding and health phrases to preview definitions and related images. The feature rolls out over the next month in English in the US, with more languages soon.
New users worldwide can access SGE by opting in through Google Search Labs in Chrome desktop. Mobile access through Google’s app is coming soon. However, SGE remains an experiment ending in May 2024. Google hasn’t shared plans after that, but the global expansion and CEO Sundar Pichai’s comments suggest SGE will remain available.
It’s unclear if SGE will come to other browsers, given competitors like Brave and Bing Chat already offer AI search experiences. For now, Google is focused on enhancing its own search through generative AI.