Google Search now allows you to create images directly from the search bar. Users simply type a description or “prompt,” and Google’s generative AI presents four image options to choose from. These images can be exported or further customized by adding more words in an additional window. This feature is part of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), a developmental version currently available to a select group of users.
The engine driving the Google Search AI-powered image generation feature is known as Imagen, a family of image generation and editing models. These models rely on transformer algorithms to comprehend text and diffusion models to generate high-resolution images. This technology has already been incorporated into other Google services, such as Google Slides and Android’s Generative AI wallpaper.
To prevent misuse, Google has implemented safety measures that align with its policy on the prohibited use of generative AI. Images that promote hate speech, violence, or illegal activities will be blocked. Moreover, the generated images will have metadata tags and watermarks to indicate they were created by AI.
Interestingly, SGE is not limited to searches. It was recently added to Chrome to summarize articles while browsing the web. Known as “SGE while browsing,” this feature highlights key points in a text and offers a Q&A section to aid comprehension.
SGE is currently available to a select group of users in the United States, with plans to expand it globally. The feature is part of Google’s broader strategy to make search more interactive and user-centric.
Despite trailing Microsoft in the AI race, Google continues to dominate with a staggering 90% market share in search engines. The generative AI feature is in its testing phase and is expected to become a staple in Google’s user experience in the near future.