Enlarge / You think this cute little search robot is going to work for free? (credit: Getty Images)

Google might start charging for access to search results that use generative artificial intelligence tools. That’s according to a new Financial Times report citing “three people with knowledge of [Google’s] plans.”

Charging for any part of the search engine at the core of its business would be a first for Google, which has funded its search product solely with ads since 2000. But it’s far from the first time Google would charge for AI enhancements in general; the “AI Premium” tier of a Google One subscription costs $10 more per month than a standard “Premium” plan, for instance, while “Gemini Business” adds $20 a month to a standard Google Workspace subscription.

While those paid products offer access to Google’s high-end “Gemini Advanced” AI model, Google also offers free access to its less performant, plain “Gemini” model without any kind of paid subscription.

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