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Google Search Notes brings back humanity amid AI barrage

Amid the constant incursion of AI into Google Search, the company is bringing back the human element with a new feature called Notes.

The addition seeks to pair a Google Search user with an oddly specific request, with a user person who knows the answer but hasn’t yet shared it with the world.

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Notes will allow people to share tips and advice directly to search results by tapping the ‘add note’ button and adding an annotation to the result.

So, for example, if a person has searched for “every type of cake frosting”, it’ll now be possible for someone with first hand knowledge to provide a little help, beyond the blogs and recipe sites.

A note might read: “For beginners, I’d go with American buttercream. It’s so easy to make and you add berries to mix things up.”

Google reckons Notes, which will be available directly below the search results after a spell in beta within Google’s Labs offerings, adds a new layer that will enable users to learn from other people.

“With the sea of information on the web, it isn’t always easy to know what content is going to be most helpful for you. So we’re introducing a new experiment in Search Labs to help people learn from the experiences of others on the web.” Google wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“With Notes, we’re exploring a new way to share tips and advice about web content, right on Search. We’ve seen in our research that people want peer validation and like to see what others are saying about a given web page. Notes gives people a helpful layer of human insights on each Search result, working hand in hand with existing content on the web and making it more useful.”

Elsewhere, Google is going to make it easier to keep track of their favourite searches by adding a Follow button. It’s designed for the things you keep coming back to, or don’t want to miss out on.

“Let’s say you’re training for your first half marathon, and you’ve come to Search looking for tips on getting in better running shape,” Google adds. “Tap the “Follow” button in search results and you’ll automatically see articles and videos about marathon training on Discover, the homepage of the Google app. From Discover, you can jump right to the search results page to see more new-to-you content and perspectives related to what you follow, like a video demonstrating a training exercise.”

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