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

UPDATE: You CANNOT Turn Off Google SGE (AI Overviews)

We published this article awhile back now. It detailed how to turn off Google SGE in the pre-release version. But now that SGE, now known as AI Overviews, is live in the USA it appears that it cannot be turned off.

I think Google will fix this; plenty of people are already complaining about it on X. How soon? No idea. It could be tomorrow or in 2025.

In the meantime, if you’re unhappy with Google, I’d suggest you take a look at Brave and run either Bing or DuckDuckGo as your main search engine.

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

Google Won't Let You Turn Off SGE (AI Overviews) In SearchPin
DuckDuckGo Uses AI In Its SERPs But It Is Far Less Invasive
  • 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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