David Pierce, The Verge:

A year ago, Google said that it believed AI was the future of search. That future is apparently here: Google is starting to roll out “AI Overviews,” previously known as the Search Generative Experience, or SGE, to users in the US and soon around the world. Pretty soon, billions of Google users will see an AI-generated summary at the top of many of their search results. And that’s only the beginning of how AI is changing search.

And from a few months back…

David Pierce, The Verge:

A few minutes ago, I opened the new Arc Search app and typed, “What happened in the Chiefs game?” That game, the AFC Championship, had just wrapped up. Normally, I’d Google it, click on a few links, and read about the game that way. But in Arc Search, I typed the query and tapped the “Browse for me” button instead.

Arc Search, the new iOS app from The Browser Company, which has been working on a browser called Arc for the last few years, went to work. It scoured the web — reading six pages, it told me, from Twitter to The Guardian to USA Today — and returned a bunch of information a few seconds later. I got the headline: Chiefs win. I got the final score, the key play, a “notable event” that also just said the Chiefs won, a note about Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, a bunch of related links, and some more bullet points about the game.

I think I finally put a finger on what bothers me so much about the push for AI based searches.

It reduces the entire web to an answer. Yes, many times, we want to learn one detail, but by searching for it, we may learn additional data points, find the writing of a writer we admire, or end up down an entirely different rabbit hole, which leads to discoveries of its own.

Tools like Arc Search and where Google is heading (to where web searches are going to be a toggle) essentially boil down hundreds if not millions of results – and the effort behind those results – to a pithy blurb.

It’s very similar to how we’ve reduced movies and TV to content, and our attention spans from being able to watch full movies to barely making it through an entire TikTok.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a part of, responsible for, and facing those same struggles with my admiration of and attention to the work of others…but goddamnit, we’re more than a blurb. We’re more than an answer. We’re more than a tweet. We’re more than a Reel. More than a TikTok.

And its time we start showing the web that.