Google Search’s AI image generator lets you dream up products — and shop the real versions

If you can dream it, you can buy it — thanks to a new shopping capability in Google’s generative AI search experiment (SGE)

SGE, which stands for Search Generative Experiment, is a way for users to play around with generative AI in Google Search. Now, Google is connecting SGE to its shopping tool to help users find gifts they’ve dreamt up in their imagination.

Allow us to explain. If you’re envisioning a puffy metallic winter coat, type that into SGE, and it will generate an image of what you’re describing. Once you’ve settled on the coat you have in mind, SGE will recommend similar coats that actually exist and can be purchased.

Since Google launched SGE, which still only exists in its testing site “Labs,” the company has been regularly adding more features to gauge its viability and usefulness. Using generative AI for shopping is low-hanging fruit that companies like Google and Microsoft’s Bing have been focusing on.

Sure, generative AI can build websites from a hand-drawn diagram, potentially automate entire professions like graphic design and research analysis, and create songs that sound like they’re made by popular musicians, but it can also help you buy that thing you been picturing in your mind.

Google Search is already pretty good at finding products and information you’re looking for. But the SGE tool is designed to be especially helpful with users who have “a very specific vision in mind,” said the announcement. This is especially true for apparel shopping. And we can all relate to having that sweater or pair of pants that’s perfectly clear in our minds, but can’t seem to find online anywhere.

The new feature will be available to U.S. users on the Google app for Android and iOS starting in December.

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