Google has incorporated images into its generative AI-powered Search Generative Experience.
The tech giant on Oct. 12 revealed that it's testing ways for users to create images within SGE by typing prompts. SGE is a set of search and interface capabilities that integrates generative AI-powered results into Google search engine query responses.
This works for those who opted into SGE through Google's Search Lab Program, an initiative of Google's parent company Alphabet to provide new features and experiments in Google Search in preview.
For example, a prompt asking for "a picture of a capybara wearing a chef's hat and cooking breakfast" generated several images of the giant South American rodent.
Users who opt into SGE also get an option to create AI-generated images directly in Google Images.
SGE will have metadata labeling and embedding watermarking so it's clear that its images are AI-generated, according to the vendor.
Google also introduced written drafts in SGE, a feature that creates drafts for those looking for written inspiration. This feature helps those with longer-running searches include ideas and inspirations during their search. For example, if someone is looking for a contractor, they can ask SGE to write a note to a specific one on the internet asking for a quote. The note can be exported into Docs or Gmail.
Google introduced SGE in May and has been updating it since.
While Google's latest update to SGE may seem like just another part of the tech giant's advancement of generative AI technology, it's more than that, according to Gartner Research analyst Chirag Dekate.
With SGE, Google's parent company Alphabet is acting on its 2017 promise to be an "AI-first company," he said.
Google has positioned AI technology to be infused in every part of Alphabet's portfolio -- from Deep Mind to Google Cloud, Android, Search and even Google's cloud infrastructure, Dekate said.
With SGE, Google appears to be setting the groundwork to prepare consumers and enterprises for what's to come.
"What you're seeing with Google search experiences -- you're seeing mass democratization of gen AI," Dekate added. "Google is leveraging its Google search platform as a foundation to deliver gen AI innovation to broader masses."
This means consumers experience generative AI in Google's mainstream products, such as Android and Search.
Chirag DekateAnalyst, Gartner
For enterprises, Google shows what's possible with generative AI using SGE and the large language models it already offers in its Google Cloud portfolio.
For instance, Google Vertex AI includes more than 100 models in the model garden, helping enterprises build their own AI products and capabilities comprising language and image models.
Enterprises that store images from Getty Images, for example, may use some of Google's image models and incorporate them into their workflow to complement their portfolio of products.
"It's not just text to image," Dekate said. "It's also image-to-text. And the synergies of all that result in transmitted use cases that are likely going to be far more impactful in the coming gen AI decades."
The gen AI race
While Google will continue to compete with other hyperscalers such as Microsoft in the generative AI market, Google has an advantage because it doesn't need to solely partner with third-party vendors to build its AI strategy, Dekate added. Meanwhile, Microsoft relies on its independent partner, OpenAI, to develop generative AI technology.
Google delivers a full-stack approach in that it provides hardware -- in the form of its Tensor Processing Unit chips -- and software, Dekate noted.
Meanwhile, Google also provides options to its customers, by providing some of independent hardware/software vendor Nvidia's GPU capabilities.
Moreover, as Google, Microsoft and other cloud giants compete in the generative AI war, the vendors that will come out on top are the ones that can innovate and get technology in the hands of customers faster, Dekate said.
"In a [generative] AI era where your mission is about enabling AI across the stack, from hardware to platforms to consumer experiences, technology providers need to innovate and own all layers in the stack in order to deliver the value," he said.
Esther Ajao is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems.