Over the past 25 years, Google’s search engine has gone through a series of updates to adapt to numerous technological changes. So it was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence-based search, announced last year, became Google’s new standard search.

During Google’s I/0 2024 conference, the company announced that its search results would start to include ‘AI Overviews,’ formerly known as Search Generative Experiences (SGE). These are blocks of AI-generated information that will be displayed at the top of the screen and will try to provide the user with an immediate answer to their query.

“What we see with generative AI is that Google can do more of the searching for you,” Liz Reid, the newly appointed head of Google’s Search, who has been developing artificial intelligence search technologies for several years, told The Verge. “It can take a bunch of the hard work out of searching, so you can focus on the parts you want to do to get things done, or on the parts of exploring that you find exciting.”

The new search engine is based on the Gemini model, an artificial intelligence developed specifically for Google search. Gemini combines features such as multi-step reasoning, planning, and multimodal capabilities.

However, Google plans that not every search query will require an answer from artificial intelligence. “If you just want to navigate to a URL, you search for Walmart and you want to get to walmart.com. It’s not really beneficial to add AI,” Reid explains.

“We can do things like ‘Find the best yoga or pilates studio in Boston rated over four stars within a half-hour walk of Beacon Hill,’” she says. This allows you to combine detailed information from the Google Knowledge Base and the entire Internet in one search result.

AI-powered search will completely change the content distribution system and could harm many businesses and publishers. Reid recognizes this problem, but believes that Google’s approach will lead to an increase in the number of clicks to websites. Sure, it may undercut low-value content, she says, but “if you think about [links] as digging deeper, websites that do a great job of providing perspective or color or experience or expertise — people still want that.” She notes that younger users are particularly eager to see a human perspective in their queries, including reviews, and Google remains committed to providing this opportunity.

Starting today, ‘AI Overviews’ will be available to users across the United States, and Google plans to expand to other countries. By the end of the year, Google plans to make the new search available to more than a billion people.

It is also worth noting that in addition to AI Overviews, Google search will offer planning options, ranging from meal plans to vacation plans. Users will be able to create individual plans, such as a three-day meal plan, and make changes to it by replacing dishes. For convenience, these plans can be exported to Google Docs or Gmail.

Google will also expand its visual search capabilities. Users will be able to ask questions via video, which should make it easier to describe and solve problems. This feature will soon be available to Search Labs users in English in the United States, and will be rolled out globally.