At Wednesday’s Google I/O, which may have set a record for mentions of AI in a single event, the company announced major plans to outfit Google Search with generative AI features.
Google’s core product and main revenue driver will soon incorporate chatbot responses for search queries and follow-up prompts geared towards engaging users in a conversation. A new integration with tools like Google Sheets will also let users export the contents of an article, e.g. “best honeymoon destinations,” into a spreadsheet.
Google is quick to label these new features as experimental, lest its chatbot generates a wildly inaccurate or strange response. This is why Google has created a platform called Search Labs for users to test out the new features and give feedback. Currently, there’s a waitlist to join Search Labs, with experiments rolling out “in the coming weeks.” That’s not much to go on, but at least you can ensure you’re among the first to try out the new features. Here’s how to sign up.
Find the Search Labs icon on Google Chrome or the Google app
In the Search Labs announcement page, Google says you can tap the Labs icon, which is a conical flask, in the Google app or when you open a new tab on Chrome. It also says you can learn more about Labs at labs.google.com/search, but we got a big ol’ error page when we tried it. We were successful in signing up for the waitlist with the opening-a-new-tab-on-Chrome method. In the top righthand corner, you should see the Labs icon. Clicking on that brings you to the waitlist page.
The Search Labs icon shows up in the righthand corner of the homepage.
If you’re logged into your Google account, all you need to do is click “Join Waitlist.”
Click “Join Waitlist” to sign up for Search Labs experiments.
Congratulations, you’re on the waitlist
That will direct you to the confirmation page indicating you’ve signed up, with a vague note that Google will let you know when you’ve been granted access. And now we wait. Speaking of waitlists, the waitlist for Google’s AI chatbot Bard has officially been removed. So while access to Search Labs could take weeks or months, you can test out Bard right now.
Voila, now, you’re signed up.