Google's Generative AI Search Experience Now Accessible to Teenagers

Google announced on Thursday that it will open its Search Generative Experience (SGE), a search engine powered by generative AI, to teenagers aged 13-17 in the United States. The company is also introducing new features to add context to search results and improve the detection of false or offensive queries.

“Google’s AI-powered search engine, the Search Generative Experience (SGE), is now accessible to teenagers in the United States, providing a more conversational and interactive search experience.”

Introducing SGE to a Younger Demographic

SGE introduces a conversational mode to Google Search, where users can ask follow-up questions about a topic more effectively. Starting this week, teenagers who are signed in to their Google accounts can sign up for Search Labs to access the AI search experience through the Google app or Chrome desktop.

According to Hema Budaraju, Senior Director of Product Management at Google, generative AI can assist younger individuals in asking questions and digging deeper into topics that a typical search engine might not be able to handle, including this technology in the younger demographic aims to strike a balance between tapping into the benefits of AI and ensuring user safety.

Google’s Commitment to Safe and Secure AI

Google has implemented safeguards into the SGE to prevent inappropriate or harmful content from surfacing. Stronger protections have been placed for outputs related to illegal substances, age-gated substances, or bullying. The extension of SGE to teenagers aligns with Google’s findings that the AI-powered search experience is more prevalent among younger users, particularly those aged 18-24 who prefer a more conversational manner of answering their queries.

Enhancements in AI Search Experience

In addition to extending the AI search experience to teenagers, Google is introducing a new feature to give users more context about the content they see. The company is adding an “About this result” notice to the AI search experience, which has long been a feature in the standard Google Search. This addition aims to give users a better understanding of how the AI-generated the response, thereby demystifying the technology.

Google also plans to add “About this result” to individual links included in SGE responses, enabling users to understand more about the web pages that inform the AI-powered overviews.

The tech giant is focused on making targeted improvements to the AI search experience. Among these is the enhancement of the AI model to better detect false or offensive premise queries and respond with more accurate, high-quality responses. Google is also developing solutions to use large language models to critique their first draft responses on sensitive topics and rewrite them based on quality and safety principles.

Continued Improvements and Expansions in AI Search

In the past few months, Google has updated the AI search experience with supporting videos and images, local info, and travel recommendations. It has also introduced new tools to provide summaries and definitions and has begun experimenting with ads that would appear next to the AI-generated responses. The AI-powered search is also expanding outside the US to India and Japan.

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