The Future of Google Search
One of the highlights of this year’s Google I/O has been Amit Singhal’s keynote address on the future of search. Google is working on three broad aspects of search engine functionality:-
Two of these areas, Conversing with Google and Anticipating your needs were demonstrated during Singhal’s presentation.
Conversing with Google
In its simplest form, speech replaces the keyboard when conducting a search.
The user begins the conversation with the words “OK Google”. This is followed by a question the user is looking to have answered. Google then answers the user and simultaneously displays the results of their query.
Google demonstrated conversation in action using simple searches such as “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz”, to which the search engine responded with a list of popular places to visit.
Conversational search for desktop and laptops is already on Chrome’s roadmap.
Anticipating your needs
Also part of Google’s announcements were a number of enhancements to Google Now, among them intelligent reminders that are time and location sensitive.
As Google put it:-
“a note to buy milk, paper towels and food for the dog, is a lot more helpful when you're actually at the grocery store”.
Fair point, although this isn’t really “anticipation” in my book. For that, Google would need to know how much dog food you have on the shelf – and how much your dog eats every day.
Just small steps
While I admire Amit Singhal’s imagination, too many of Google’s demonstrations of the Knowledge Graph centre around the easy stuff – people and places.
These technologies are cute, but they don’t really represent much of a step forward until they can deal with the complex and subtle questions real people ask every day.
Read the full story and watch Singhal’s presentation on Search Engine Watch.