Alphabet reaps $56 billion reward from Google’s AI-powered search engine updates

Google announced it is rolling out generative AI to its core search engine.
Sejal Sharma
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.


Shortly after Google made several AI-related announcements at its annual developers conference, its parent company Alphabet's stock shot up by 5% on Wednesday and reportedly made gains of $56 billion to its market value.

Kicking off the conference, saying, "As you may have heard, AI is having a very busy year. So we have lots to talk about," CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company is adding Search Generative Experience (SGE) to its search engine by way of AI snapshots. Those who opt for SGE will see an AI-powered snapshot of key information to consider, with links to dig deeper.

For example, if the user searches for 'How long does it typically take to see the whole of Le Louvre?,' the search engine will sprout up information as well as suggested follow-up questions like - 'Which room is the Mona Lisa placed in?' or 'Does Le Louvre have audio guide tours?' Once the user taps on these, the AI snapshot will take them to a new conversational mode, where they can ask Google more about the topic being explored.

"Context will be carried over from question to question, to help you more naturally continue your exploration. You'll also find helpful jumping-off points to web content and a range of perspectives that you can dig into," said the company in a blog

Apart from AI snapshots, Google announced that it would be integrating generative AI with other products like Gmail - helping users create draft emails, Google Photos - which will make the photos more aesthetically pleasing, expansion of the immersive view in Google Maps, expansion of its chatbot Bard in 180 countries, among others.

Responding to growing competition in AI

Interesting Engineering reported last month on how Google is planning to give its namesake search engine an AI makeover. Six months ago, Google wasn't concerned about making inroads in the generative AI space, but the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT changed it all.

The influence of this could be seen in its I/O developers conference, which was heavily laden with 'what Google has in store for its users in terms of AI.' Also, Google's SGE will place it in direct competition with Microsoft's new Bing search engine, which has taken a similar approach and runs on OpenAI's GPT4. 

Talking about how they won't always get it right, Google, in its blog, said, "We're taking a responsible and deliberate approach to bringing new generative AI capabilities to Search. We've trained these models to uphold Search's high bar for quality, and we will continue to make improvements over time."

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