Google’s Search Labs Opens Doors to Teenagers

In a move aimed at making AI more accessible to a younger audience, Google is expanding access to its Search Labs experiment. This allows teens between the ages of 13 and 17 in the United States to sign up for Search Labs. Through Search Labs, they will be able to explore a range of innovative features through the Google app or Chrome desktop.

Empowering Teens with Generative AI

At the core of this initiative is Generative AI, often referred to as SGE (Search Generative Experience). It’s a technology designed to assist people in finding information quickly and naturally while exploring various topics. For younger users, SGE opens up the possibility of asking questions that a traditional search engine can’t answer. This includes the ability to pose follow-up questions, encouraging a deeper dive into the world of knowledge.

Balancing Innovation with Safety

Google recognizes the importance of striking the right balance between providing opportunities for teens to benefit and ensuring their safety. Informed by extensive research and insights from teen development experts, Google has incorporated additional safeguards into the SGE experience.

Enhanced Quality Protections

Quality protections have been reinforced to prevent the emergence of inappropriate or harmful content. Some of these inappropriate or harmful materials could be, but are not limited to; illegal substances, age-restricted materials, or bullying. Google remains committed to gathering feedback and refining its systems. This continuous feedback helps to better protect teens, collaborating with experts along the way.

AI Literacy Guide

To ensure that teens and parents have a comprehensive understanding of generative AI and its responsible use, Google has introduced an “AI Literacy Guide.” This resource addresses fundamental questions about how generative AI functions, its capabilities, and its limitations. It also provides valuable tips on how teens and families can utilize this technology responsibly. Links to the guide will be integrated into the onboarding process for available Search Labs.  The documents can be found in the Search Help Center, too.
If you want to read the guide before your teens take the big leap into AI. You can grab the guide to read right here.

Bolstering Information Literacy

Google is including information literacy features within SGE. Users who have opted into Search Labs will have access to the “About this result” tool. This tool offers valuable context about AI-powered responses. This context includes descriptions of how SGE generated a particular response. Doing this helps users gain insights into the underlying technology. Future updates will extend this tool to individual links within SGE responses. Giving even more information about the web pages supporting the AI-powered overviews.
Specious Coda-Bishop
Staff Writer @phandroid | Top 5 Kingdom Hearts 3 Speedrunner | Twitch Affiliate | Xbox Ambassador

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