Google, the search engine used by more than a billion people around the world, is reported to be considering charging for premium content generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

The company, owned by Alphabet Inc, is said to be revamping its business model and looking at putting some of its core product behind a paywall.

It would be the first time Google had charged for any of its content.

Google said it did not have anything to announce “right now”.

According to the Financial Times (FT) it is said to be looking at whether to add certain AI-powered search features to its premium subscription services which already offer access to its new AI assistant called Gemini, Google’s version of the viral chatbot ChatGPT.

Executives have reportedly not yet made a decision when or whether to move ahead with the technology but the FT said engineers were developing the know-how needed to deploy the service.

Google’s traditional search engine would remain free of charge but would continue to appear with ads alongside searched-for content, which subscribers would also see, the FT said.

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