Google’s AI Search Thrives Without Overviews

Google's AI Search Thrives Without Overviews

AI Overviews have just been out for a week, and things are already off the tracks. And, the most frustrating aspect of it all is that Google has already proven that it understands how to make AI in Search genuinely useful; it simply does not do so with AI Overviews.

The concept of artificial intelligence in search has always seemed odd. There are many useful uses for generative AI, but what about search? Search is a tool for conducting research. You’re looking for answers and truth on the internet. However, generative AI is always prone to hallucinations or just being wrong, as it will confidently spit forth clearly erroneous information as reality.

And this happened quickly in AI Overviews.

Just in the last week, there have been several obvious cases of AI Overviews spewing falsehoods.

Getting a rapid summary or answer using AI in search makes it logical. It has become increasingly difficult to receive a timely response from Google Search as SEO spam spreads, propelled by AI’s greater power for swiftly delivering material. However, utilizing AI to solve that problem seems counterintuitive. Yes, AI can interpret information, but it isn’t very good at determining what is true and what isn’t. It’s also seemingly prone to accepting Reddit snark as absolute reality.

However, Google has already demonstrated some good ideas for how AI could be utilized in Search, which appear to be far more useful than AI Overviews.

At Google I/O 2024, the company highlighted a few new AI capabilities coming to Search, including multi-step reasoning. Google Search inquiries are often straightforward now, but Google has demonstrated that AI may help them offer answers to far more complex issues.

There is also planning. Using “traditional” Google Search for planning was a time-consuming operation that required the user to go through several web pages, conduct multiple searches, and manually collect their findings outside of Google. However, using AI, Google appears to be very capable of providing customers with a basic plan for a vacation, a basis on which to build for weekly meals, or some quick and easy restaurant choices.

And this is because the AI is simply providing a more complicated and competent version of what Google was already doing. That’s appealing, informative, and certainly far less prone to the errors we’ve seen in AI Overviews thus far. I’m sure there will be errors in these other tasks; inevitably, meal planning will propose meat in a vegan dish.

Artificial intelligence does not belong in search. The release of AI Overviews, if anything, proves my position. They are not helpful. They’re just error- and misinformation-prone versions of Google’s Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panels, which have been used for years to do the same purpose that AI is now entrusted with. However, because AI is evolving so swiftly, there is little to no possibility we will go backward on this.

Artificial intelligence is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

Source- 9to5google

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