Google Chrome is testing a feature that will use AI to summarize articles
Google Chrome is testing an AI-powered feature that will summarize articles on the web. The option is in an experimental stage, and is called "SGE while browsing".
That is quite an unusual name, SGE stands for Search Generative Experience. In case you missed it, Google introduced Search Labs in May 2023. The new AI-assisted feature is part of that platform.
The Mountain View company wants to simplify the browsing experience for users, especially on web pages that have a long wall of text. When you land on an article's page, Chrome will display a Generate button. When you tap on it, the browser's will generate AI-powered key points to summarize the important information from the article. So instead of reading several pages, you could use the SGE feature to get a bulleted list that is easier to read and understand. In a nutshell, the feature has been designed to help you find information faster.
Google says that the option to summarize the articles may only appear on some pages. It only works on articles that are freely accessible on the internet, i.e. the feature does not support articles that have been marked as paywalled, this restriction is in place to ensure that publishers have control over their content, and are not affected by the tool.
Microsoft's Bing chat can already summarize articles on the web, and so can Google Bard. But we are talking about the built-in feature in Chrome. SGE can do more than display a gist of the article, it will generate an "Explore on page" section that shows questions that the article answers, which you can use it to jump to the relevant location. It is worth noting that Google's Search Labs and its experimental features are currently only available for users located in the US, and in English only. Here's an animated demo from Google that shows the feature would work.
Definitions within AI-generated responses
The text that is generated by the AI will annotate some words, these are underlined sort of like a URL, to indicate that you can interact with it. Hovering the mouse cursor over the word will display a preview of its definition. It will also show an image that is related to the topic, to help you understand the information. Google says that these improvements will be rolled out to answers that the AI generates for topics or questions related to science, economics, history and more.
Improvements to Coding information
Google is also updating SGE's capabilities to provide coding information, such as color-coded snippets with syntax highlighting. This will help users identify keywords, comments and strings, etc., which can be useful for managing the code.
SGE while browsing is rolling out as part of the Search Labs experiment, you can opt in to the feature to try it out. The announcement says that the feature is available in the Google app for Android and iOS now. The AI-powered improvements will also be shipping to Chrome for desktop in the coming days.
What do you think about AI-powered features in browsers? Do you find them useful?