Published on May 16, 2024, 9:19 pm

Google’s AI search has made an unexpected appearance on my browser, refusing to budge. The frustrating part isn’t just the subpar results it serves up when I type in a query, but the time wasted sifting through unwanted information. For instance, while attempting to verify the episode count of our podcast “Aftermath Hours” while paying bills, I encountered a significant delay of almost three seconds before AI-generated details about the podcast popped up at the top of the search results page, alongside a link to Spotify and other irrelevant information. Despite the accuracy of the AI-generated content, it is not what I seek, forcing me to endure a needless delay each time.

These mere seconds are proving to be incredibly bothersome. Although I am not typically one to obsess over maximizing every minute of my day, this slight delay catches my attention every single time. It may seem like a minor inconvenience initially, but across multiple queries throughout the day – a routine many writers or editors can relate to – these delays add up and become cumbersome. Waiting for unwanted information that I didn’t request nor want displayed on my screen feels like chipping away at valuable moments of my life. This added annoyance exacerbates an already unpleasing experience with Google searches due to its ad-heavy output; there’s really no need for an unwanted preview!

Before any proponents of AI technology jump in asserting that improvements will come, it’s essential to assert that even with instantaneous results, it remains undesired. I never consented to receiving outcomes from this “plagiarism machine.” Interestingly enough, my colleagues at Aftermath aren’t experiencing this issue yet, so it seems like this feature is gradually rolling out following Google’s recent I/O conference trends.

Supposedly, one could circumvent these issues by opting for “web” results from the “more” dropdown menu; however, this option doesn’t seem readily available for me yet. Moreover, selecting web results might still entail waiting for AI-generated content to load first. The instructions on disabling AI search assume voluntary participation – something I definitely did not sign up for. Additionally, attempting to disable AI search via Google only yields more AI-driven responses which feel reminiscent of something out of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

In the absence of an immediate off-switch option, my workaround involves trying to outpace the AI results by hitting “search” and rapidly scrolling down before the unnecessary text appears. While it does inject some thrill into an otherwise mundane day, it also introduces additional stress and time pressure into an already hectic life rhythm – consequences I certainly do not desire nor require in my daily routine.

Life is too brief for these unwelcome intrusions!


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