Friday, 3 March 2023

Brave Search launches an AI-powered summarization feature

by Berkeley Lovelace

It is raining AI-powered features all across search engines. Today, Brave Search launched a new “Summarizer” feature, which is powered by different large langue models (LLMs) — OpenAI’s GPT tech isn’t one of them. Just like the name suggests, its job is to provide a synopsis of a search query using different sources.

The summary feature is available to all Brave Search users on desktop and mobile. In the examples given by the company, it can summarize results for queries like “are acetaminophen and ibuprofen the same” through medical resources or “what happened in East Palestine Ohio” through news links.

Brave Search launches an AI-powered summarization feature

Image Credits: Brave

Besides the summary, the improved Brave Search will also highlight relevant sentences in listed results as news articles. Previously, it just highlighted search keywords from the page description.

Image Credits: Brave

“With 22 million queries per day, Brave Search is the fastest-growing search engine since Bing. Unlike AI chat tools which can provide fabricated responses, the Summarizer generates a plain-written summary at the top of the search results page, aggregating the latest sources on the Web and providing source attribution for transparency and accountability. This open system is available to all Brave Search users today to help them better navigate search results.” said Josep M. Pujol, Chief of Search at Brave.

The company said that its LLM is trained to fight “unsubstantiated assertions,” referring to AI chat of other search engines like Bing going awry and sprouting out misinformation because of prompt engineering. Just like other offerings, Brave Search offers citations and links so that people can look at sources to double-check the information. So people have to decide for themselves if the mentioned sources are reliable — but there is a chance that people won’t even look at these links.

Brave warns users that they should not trust everything produced by AI-powered search results in its announcement. But it’s not clear if a similar warning will be shown in search results when people try out this feature.

“Given the current advancements in AI, it’s crucial to remind users that one should not believe everything an AI system produces, in much the same way one should not believe everything that is published on the Web. At the risk of stating the obvious, we should not suspend critical thinking for anything we consume, no matter how impressive the results of AI models can be,” the company said.

In the announcement, Brave noted that this new release won’t generate a summary for all queries. Currently, it is applicable for only 17% of the queries on the search engine, but the company expects this percentage to increase over time.

The company explained that the Summarizer feature is reliant on its own LLMs, instead of the popular GPT tech by OpenAI. It said that it uses a mix of three models: the first one is a question-answering model to get answers from text across pages; the second model is a classifier to weed out hate speech and spam; the final model rewrites the sentences to present a concise result.

Brave is competing with a lot of search engines going into AI-powered search. Last month, Bing made headlines with the announcement of a GPT-powered search where you can chat with a bot. In response, Google announced Bard in a closed beta. Relatively smaller players in the space like Neeva and have also announced AI-aided search features. Given a lot of them are making errors in the early versions of these features, the search engine with the least glitches will have an advantage in AI-powered search.

Brave Search launches an AI-powered summarization feature by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch