Google's Liz Reid wants more AI and 'SGE' as she becomes head of Search

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(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Today (Mar. 19), Google appointed Liz Reid as its new head of Search.
  • Reid has a history of working with AI, specifically in Search, through Search Labs' SGE (search generative experience).
  • Reid stated she wants to implement more "SGE" and AI overviews into Google Search as the company improves its capability of understanding context-rich queries.

Today (Mar. 19), Google has a new head of Search who will take the reigns to "shape the future."

Announced via a LinkedIn post, Liz Reid is Google's new head of Search, and one of her primary goals is to plug more AI into the product (via TheVerge). Reid has been with Google since 2003, and the bulk of her work involved Search's AI, known as its "Search Generative Experience" (SGE) and multisearch.

Reid states that we've entered an "exciting time" for Search as user positivity behind queries reportedly grows in Google's "major markets." During her time with the company, she mentioned some of the features Search has recently gained, such as Google Lens (visual search), Circle to Search, and SGE's AI overviews.

AI will lead Search further, as Reid states, "with SGE, we are able to serve a wider range of information needs and answer new types of questions, including more complex questions, like comparisons or longer queries." She teases, "More coming soon!"

The publication recounted a discussion with Reid before Search Labs launched in 2023, during which she mentioned "lowering the bar to asking Google your real questions." Essentially, Google is looking to AI to help its Search experience better understand context-rich queries and produce responses.

In addition to Reid's new position, Cheenu Venkatachary is now overseeing Google Search's ranking and quality. Google News and Discover's Cathy Edwards is now said to have joined the company's long-term bets team.

Google generative AI in Search

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

SGE's colorful text boxes were shown alongside Search Labs' introduction in 2023. Google said SGE would scour the web for the most relevant answers before allowing users to dive deeper with alternatives. However, AI is prone to hallucinations, which pushed Google to start testing source links for SGE. Enrolled testers discovered in-line links to where the company's AI gathered the information so users could fact-check it.

Most recently, Google's AI overviews started arriving in its main Android app for all users. In addition to multisearch, users can snap a photo of an item they're unsure about and run it through Google's engine for a complete breakdown. Much like Reid is interested in bringing more AI to Search, so is Google.

The company stated it will look to roll out SGE experiments "more broadly" to users regardless of their enrollment in Search Labs. Google adds this should help it understand what users need.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.