Google is the Internet

Google is the Internet: AI Search Results

If you’ve search for something like “what should I use to get coffee stain out of my carpet” you may have been presented with a Google AI “overview” instead of a website result. While at first glance this feature may appear rather helpful, there have been many instances of the AI summaries being misleading or completely incorrect at times (see here, here, and here for a good laugh). There has been enough feedback due to these errors that Google has rolled-back this feature for most users.

This “feature” had us considering the future of content on the internet and what this means for businesses that rely on search for their business. When you think that users may simply read these “AI Overviews” and not browse any of the websites that this content is taken from, this feature appears to be a bit heavy-handed.

While its understandable that organizations exploring what AI has to offer will make some missteps, its a bit concerning that a private company that wields so much influence over our daily use of the internet can unilaterally decide to enable a “feature” for broad swaths of their user-base. It would be much more prudent for them to offer an opt-in method to allow users to experiment with these new features while the obvious bugs are worked out.

Overall, Google has continued to make steps towards controlling the internet experience for billions of users. The decisions they have made over time have been against their users and enhanced their already monumental control over how users experience the internet.

As users of a digital fabric that we all created we encourage you to be vigilant about how you peruse the internet.