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Google extends AI-based content reviews to more searches

Google announced the extension of content ratings to searches where its AI systems do not have high confidence in the overall quality of the results available for the search.

Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow and vice president of research, said this does not mean that no useful information is available or that a particular result is of poor quality.

“These reviews provide context about the overall results on the page, and you can still see your query results, even when the review is present,” he said in a blog post Thursday evening.

“We have invested deeply in information quality and information literacy on Google Search and Google News, and today we have some new developments around this important work,” Nayak said.

Google has also introduced the latest AI model, called Multitask Unified Model (MUM), to improve the quality of search results in the “snippets” that are displayed at the top of the page for searches.

“Our systems can check snippet captions (the word or words called above the snippet presented in a larger font) against other high-quality sources on the web, to see if there is general consensus for this legend, even though the sources use different words or concepts to describe the same thing,” Nayak explained.

The company said it has trained systems to better detect false premises, which aren’t very common, but are instances where displaying a featured snippet isn’t helpful.

“We’ve reduced the triggering of Featured Snippets in these cases by 40% with this update,” Google said.

Google is also adding more context to the “About this result” feature, such as a source’s broadcast, online reviews of a source or business, whether a business is owned by another entity, or even when our systems can’t find much information about a source.

Google also announced a partnership with MediaWise of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to develop information literacy lesson plans for middle and high school teachers.