They Want Your Data AND Your Money: Google Considers Introducing Paid AI Features in Search Results

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, attends a press event to announce Google as the
Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images

In a significant shift from its long-standing ad-funded model, Google is reportedly exploring the possibility of charging users for AI-powered search features, according to a recent Financial Times report.

Citing three people familiar with the company’s plans, the Financial Times reported that Google might introduce a paid tier for search results that utilize generative artificial intelligence tools, a new approach to monetize its new AI-enhanced search capabilities.

Google's black George Washington

Google’s black George Washington (Gemini AI)

This potential move would mark a first for Google, which has relied solely on advertising to fund its search product since 2000. However, the company is no stranger to charging for AI enhancements in other offerings. For instance, the “AI Premium” tier of a Google One subscription costs an additional $10 per month compared to a standard “Premium” plan, while “Gemini Business” adds $20 a month to a standard Google Workspace subscription.

Under the proposed plan, Google’s standard search (without AI) would remain free, and subscribers to the paid AI search tier would still see ads alongside their Gemini-powered search results. However, the increased costs associated with AI-powered search may necessitate this new revenue stream. A Reuters report from last year suggested that running a search query through an advanced neural network like Gemini could cost ten times more than a standard keyword search, potentially adding billions of dollars in extra costs across Google’s network.

The demand for AI-enhanced search remains uncertain, as evidenced by the limited impact of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which heavily invested in generative AI features over the past year. Additionally, the uptake of Google’s experimental opt-in “Search Generative Experience” (SGE) has been reportedly limited.

Despite these challenges, the current tech industry’s fascination with generative AI may pressure Google to integrate the technology into a “premium” search product sooner rather than later. The company’s engineers are currently working on the backend technology necessary to launch such a service, although a final decision has not been made. The ultra-woke Gemini AI already made its mark as it attempted to erase white people from history.

Read more at Financial Times here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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