What is Search Labs?

Google Search Labs is a new division of Google Labs that enables consumers to test (and experiment with) various products and ideas related to Google Search.

Understanding Search Labs

Like its large language model PaLM 2, Google announced Search Labs at the 2023 I/O annual developer conference in Mountain View, California.

Among all the products showcased at the conference, it is Search Labs that will arguably impact the most lives since it deals with new and exciting changes to Google Search. Note that the changes may or may not be related to AI, and not all of them will ever be fully released.

Search Labs is a way for consumers to access potential new features before most others have heard of them, but the division also enhances Google’s experimentation philosophy which comprises ”hundreds of thousands of quality tests and experiments” to make search more useful, helpful, fun, and creative.

Current Search Labs experiments

Here are some of the current, limited-time Search Labs experiments.

Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Search Generative Experience incorporates the power of generative AI into Google Search. According to Google, SGE is a powerful new technology that “can unlock entirely new types of questions you never thought Search could answer, and transform the way information is organized, to help you sort through and make sense of what’s out there.

Ultimately, SGE aims to make Search a faster yet more insightful experience. Google claims that generative AI will enable users to sort through vast amounts of information and, to some extent, avoid having to break a complex question into several smaller questions.

To accomplish this, AI will also provide the user with summations as well as “pointers to explore more, and ways to naturally follow up.”

Code Tips

Code Tips utilizes the power of large language models (LLMs) to help users write code in a way that is smarter and more efficient. To that end, users can ask how-to questions about specific sets of:

  • Tools – such as Docker and Git.
  • Languages – such as C, C++, JavaScript, Java, Python, TypeScript, and Kotlin, and
  • Algorithms. 

Add to Sheets

The “Add to Sheets” feature enables users to insert search results into a spreadsheet. 

Users who are planning a vacation, for example, can use Sheets as a research companion and add information to an itinerary or share other important details with friends and family.

How to access Search Labs

Those who are interested in accessing Search Labs will need a personal Google account and the Chrome browser installed for either desktop or mobile. At the time of writing, Search Labs is only available to English speakers in the United States – but Google does plan to expand to other countries soon.

Users in the United States can access the waitlist after opening a new tab in Chrome and clicking on the Labs icon in the top right corner. Then, it is a matter of clicking “Join Waitlist” and waiting for a confirmation email or push notification if on mobile.

Key takeaways:

  • Google Search Labs is a new division of Google Labs that enables users to test (and experiment with) various products related to Google Search.
  • Among all the products showcased at the 2023 I/O conference, it is Search Labs that will arguably impact the most lives since it deals with potential new and exciting changes to Google Search.
  • Those who are interested in accessing Search Labs will need a personal Google account and the Chrome browser installed for either desktop or mobile. At the time of writing, Search Labs is only available to English speakers in the United States.

Key Highlights

  • Introduction to Google Search Labs:
    • Google Search Labs is a new division of Google Labs focused on allowing users to test and experiment with various products and ideas related to Google Search.
    • It was announced at the 2023 Google I/O annual developer conference in Mountain View, California.
  • Impact and Scope of Search Labs:
    • Among the products showcased at the conference, Google Search Labs is expected to have a significant impact on users’ lives as it deals with potential new and exciting changes to Google Search.
    • It’s a way for consumers to access and experience new features and concepts related to search.
  • Google’s Experimentation Philosophy:
    • Search Labs aligns with Google’s experimentation philosophy, involving numerous quality tests and experiments to enhance the usefulness, helpfulness, fun, and creativity of the search experience.
  • Current Search Labs Experiments:
    • Search Generative Experience (SGE): Utilizes generative AI to provide new ways of answering questions and organizing information, aiming for a faster and more insightful search experience.
    • Code Tips: Leverages large language models (LLMs) to assist users in writing code more efficiently by answering how-to questions about tools, programming languages, and algorithms.
    • Add to Sheets: Enables users to insert search results directly into a spreadsheet, facilitating research, planning, and sharing.
  • Accessing Search Labs:
    • To access Search Labs, users need a personal Google account and the Chrome browser installed on either desktop or mobile.
    • Currently, Search Labs is available to English speakers in the United States, with plans to expand to other countries in the future.
    • Users can join the waitlist by clicking on the Labs icon in Chrome’s top-right corner and selecting “Join Waitlist.”
  • Key Takeaways:
    • Google Search Labs is a division for testing and experimenting with new Google Search-related products and concepts.
    • It was introduced at the 2023 Google I/O conference and reflects Google’s commitment to improving the search experience through innovation.
    • Users can participate by joining the waitlist through the Chrome browser if they have a personal Google account.
    • The experiments within Search Labs aim to enhance search functionality, coding assistance, and integration with other tools like spreadsheets.

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