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Be Wary of Google’s AI Overview

Published 26 days ago • 1 min read

Issue #15

Be Wary of Google's AI Overview

Ahoy there, fellow Netizens! Today, let’s talk about Google’s AI Overview, which you’ll soon see integrated into Google Search.

As its name suggests, AI Overview (previously known as SGE or Search Generative Experience) provides an AI generated summary of the search results for certain queries. And, to make sure you can’t miss it, Google places it right at the top of the search results page.

When experimenting with AI Overview, I found it triggered on health related searches, such as “how do I know if I am having a heart attack?” “how to lose weight fast?” and “my baby ate dog poop.” This is worrying because AI is well known for making false claims (e.g., Bing’s AI once claimed I was a fraudster and should be reported to the authorities) and false claims about health and medicine can cause significant harm.

In fact, users on X have already been pointing out dangerous mistakes made by AI Overview. For example, Lily Ray, a DJ and SEO specialist, put Google on Blast after noticing it recommended people drink urine to pass kidney stones.

Additionally, as I’ve talked about before, the beta version of AI Overview often directed users to malicious and scam websites.

So, if you plan on using AI Overview, be wary of the answers it gives you and always double check anything of importance.

If you don’t plan on using it, you may be frustrated to learn Google does not provide a way to turn it off. However, the search giant has added a filter you can use to avoid its AI generated answers: the web filter. You can find this under the search bar in the same place as the other filters (e.g., “images,” “news,” and “books”). If you don’t see it, select “more” and it should appear.

So, what do you think about Google’s AI Overview? Will you be using it?

Until next time, stay safe out there!

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Safe Not Scammed

Rebecca Morris

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