In the words of Amit Singhal, head of Google search, “the destiny of search is to be like the Star Trek computer – always by your side, answering things.”
Towards that laudable end, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced some great new changes to its search facility at a special breakfast press meet today.
Given that a knowledge base is the pre-requisite for such an objective, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is by far best-positioned here – there are about 30 trillion URLs of which about 20 billion are crawled and indexed by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) every day. Moreover, Google answers about 100 billion searches every month.
Given this huge data base at your disposal, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would like go forward and make searches ‘context-based’ instead of ‘search-based.’ This is where Google’s latest addition, Knowledge Graph, will come in useful. For instance, if you key in the name of your favorite musician, apart from the bio and bibliography, you are also likely to see a listing of upcoming events by the artist. Wait, it gets better – if you now click the event, you may get all the details of ticket booking and the venue itself! In sum it provides answers, not just links.
The challenge thereafter for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is to make search universally accessible across all platforms and everywhere. A crucial step here is to integrate search and personal communications, Google is adding Gmail of a few users into their search results as a part of a limited field trial.
How would this work? Well, let’s say I typed in Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the search, would pull up my purchase confirmation emails from my Gmail account and display them alongside my search results. In another example, if I typed in “my flights” into the search bar, the search engine would pull my itineraries out of my fight booking emails and display them for my reference. Want to join in on the field trial? Do it here: g.co/searchtrial.
In other moves towards Star Trek, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is introducing voice-activated search that would work on iOS devices. You ask your query in plain spoken English, and voila! you get an answer back in spoken language. In other words, Google is taking the first tentative steps towards a future in search that will likely include speech recognition and artificial intelligence. And all this will be accompanied with ever-increasing speed that encompasses hardware, software and networking.