Google starts opening up access to its new generative AI capabilities in Search

Google announced today that it's starting to open up access to new generative AI capabilities in Search after teasing them at its I/O event two weeks ago. The tech giant is opening up access to Search Labs, a new program that allows people to sign up for experiments, including the Search Generative Experience, and test them out before the wider release.

If you signed up for Search Labs, you will be notified by email when you can start testing the new generative AI features in Search. If you haven't signed up and would like to, you can do so by tapping the Labs icon in the latest version of the Google app (Android and iOS) or on Chrome desktop.

Once you’re in the experiment, the new generative AI-powered Search experience will help you understand a topic faster and get things done more easily, Google says.

With this new update, Google says users can easily get up to speed on a new or complicated topic. Say you're looking to get information about a topic that you would normally have to break down into separate queries. Search will now provide an AI-powered snapshot so you can get help understanding what factors to consider when you type in a query, like "learning ukulele vs guitar."

The Search Generative Experience can also uncover quick tips for specific questions. For instance, if you search for things like “How to get an old coffee stain out of a wool sweater" or "How can I renew my passport quickly," you will be able to easily find pointers for the key info you need to know, or see a range of options available and take the next step with help from the web.

In addition, the new search experience has a Shopping integration as well. Google notes that you can search for things like "Peel and stick wallpaper for kitchen" to learn about important factors, like if it’s easy to remove, and get a list of options, including price, customer ratings and links to purchase.

If you want to explore further, you can select the option to “ask a follow-up question” or select a suggested next step, which will take you into conversational mode where you can ask Google more about the topic you’re exploring. Context will be carried over from question to question.

"This experiment is our first step in adding generative AI to Search, and we'll be making many updates and improvements over time," Google wrote in a blog post. "As we continue to reimagine how we can make it even more natural and intuitive to find what you’re looking for, we’re excited for you to test out these new capabilities and share feedback along the way."