Google Search in South Africa is now powered by Generative AI

Google has expanded the availability of its AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) to 120 additional countries and territories, including South Africa. SGE introduces a new technology that allows users to pose questions that were previously challenging for Search to answer, transforming how information is organized to help users navigate the vast web content more effectively.

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Wambui Kinya, Google Search general manager in Africa, envisions a “supercharged” Search experience that simplifies complex tasks for users. SGE aims to enhance understanding of topics, reveal diverse perspectives, and streamline tasks.

With SGE activated, users receive an AI-powered overview of key information related to their query, facilitating quicker access to answers. Google offered an example where a user asks, “Does honey ever spoil?” Instead of breaking down the question into smaller components, SGE can handle some of the information processing, offering a more streamlined response.

In addition to the AI-powered overview, SGE suggests follow-up queries or questions, providing a more interactive and informative experience. For instance, it might prompt the user to search “What is the oldest honey ever eaten?”

To enable the experimental feature, users must activate it via the Search Labs website on a Chrome browser, and it is currently limited to Google Personal users, excluding Google Workspace accounts. Over the next week, it will become available on the Google mobile app for Android or iOS. Initially, AI-powered Search in Sub-Saharan Africa is accessible in English.

Google sees SGE as the initial step toward making Search significantly more helpful, aligning with its broader vision to enhance the search experience and offer users valuable insights in a more intuitive manner.