Here’s how you can (and probably should) turn off Google’s AI Answers feature (also known as SGE)

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is now officially rolling out and it even has a proper name: Google AI Overviews. 

There’s quite a lot of heat around this new feature, for a variety of very good reasons, so if you’d rather not have a machine give you answers, you can turn it off. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Disable SGE (AI Overviews)

Open Google Search on the Web

  • Navigate to the Google Search homepage in your web browser.

Access Search Labs

  • Click on the Search Labs button located in the top-right corner of the page.

Disable Generative AI Search Results

  1. In the Search Labs menu, find the SGE toggle switch.
  2. Click the switch to turn it off, disabling the generative AI search results.

Turn Off AI Code Tips

  1. Additionally, locate the Code Tips toggle switch in the same menu.
  2. Turn off this switch to disable AI-generated answers for coding queries.

Benefits of Disabling SGE

How To Turn Off Google AI Answers Overview (SGE)Pin
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  • Enhanced Privacy: Reduce data collection and use by AI models.
  • Traditional Search Results: Return to familiar, non-AI-enhanced search results.
  • Increased Relevance: Avoid potentially inaccurate AI-generated responses.

The main reason I would recommend for anyone to switch off SGE is that – as of right now, and likely for the foreseeable future – it simply isn’t accurate. No AI model is. They make sure up, pass on false information, and this is bad for user experience and, in some cases, dangerous.

Also, AI does not have opinions; it can do math and explain things that are black and white like HTML code or how far the sun is away from the Earth but what it cannot do is give you a nuanced answer based on actual knowledge and/or experience. 

If you value the role that journalism, blogging, and any other form of content creation plays in modern society, from recommending things like phones to sounding the alarm about political scandals, you’ll stay as far away from AI-generated search results as possible. 

Google Let's Be EvilPin

Think about it: Google controls the AI, in a manner of speaking, so it gets to decide what “the answer” is – not you, not a collection of thinkers or writers, Google. Big Tech. And that is a little too close to an Orwellian nightmare for me, thank you very much. 

I’m not against AI; as a tool for performing tasks, crunching data, analysing stuff, it is brilliant. But it is not a creative tool, it cannot and should not be used to replace human creativity, insight, and opinion. If it does, the world will be a lot poorer as a result.

Big Tech does not care about this; we’re all serfs in their eyes. You and I need to vote with our attention. If you don’t like AI Overviews, turn it off. Switch browsers. Ditch Chrome. Whatever. People en masse need to send a message to these people.

Otherwise, it’ll be Meta and Google controlling every facet of media on the internet, and not just the media but also the narrative and the “answers” we get when we search online for information. And if that happens, it won’t be the internet anymore. It’ll just be an exercise in data collection, tracking, and targeted advertising.

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