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Google Considers Charging for Advanced AI Search

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Google is thinking about making people pay for some new and advanced search features that use smart artificial intelligence (AI). This could be a big change for Google, as it’s never made its main search tool something you have to pay for. The company’s search engine makes a lot of money from ads, so this idea shows they’re still trying to figure out how to deal with new technology that might affect their ad business.

They’re thinking about adding these special AI-powered search features to services you already pay for, like their new Gemini AI helper in Gmail and Docs. Engineers are working on this, but Google hasn’t decided yet if or when they’ll start charging for it.

Google’s regular search engine would still be free, and you’d still see ads even if you pay for the extra features. But this would be the first time Google asks people to pay for extra stuff in its main search tool.

Google Considers Charging for Advanced AI Search

Google made $175 billion from search and ads last year, so they’re trying to balance making new cool AI stuff while still making money.

Since a popular chatbot called ChatGPT came out in 2022, Google has been trying to keep up. ChatGPT can give good answers to questions, which could mean people don’t need to click on ads as much to find what they’re looking for.

Last year, Google started testing a new search service powered by AI. It gives more detailed answers to questions but still shows links and ads. But it’s been slow to add these features to its main search engine.

These new AI features cost more for Google because they use a lot of computer power. So far, only some people, like subscribers to Google One, can try these new features.

Other companies, like Microsoft, have also used AI in their search engines. But it hasn’t made a big difference in how many people use them compared to Google.

Some people worry that if Google’s AI gets too good at giving answers, fewer people will click on ads or visit other websites. Google says they’re not trying to make search ad-free, but they’re working on making search better for users.

They’ve added new paid options for their chatbot, Gemini, and they might do the same for AI-powered search. But they haven’t said exactly how or when this will happen.

Source: Ft