The Future of Search

By vivanovvivanov (1255537851|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

“Back in my day we had to walk 3 miles to school….barefoot….” Does this sound familiar? Sometimes you want to answer: “So what grandpa? I can wheelie to class or take the public transportation, drive to class, or even sit at home and take a class online. The point being, the world today is vastly different form that of 100 years ago, 50 years ago, even one month ago. Technology has been accelerating at an incredibly quick pace. The question then is, will this rate of acceleration continue a month from now, 50 years, or 100 years? Those subscribing to the Law of Accelerating Return seem to think so. What does this mean for the search industry?

We can see how quick the internet and the tools that allow us to search quickly and more effectively are growing exponentially.

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This means search as we know it will most likely not exist in the near future.

Although search has become such an integral part of our lives, the term google being a verb, there are still some things left wanting.

  • Mobility
  • Interface
  • Better Results

Mobility

How many times has something come up and you regreted not being in front of a computer to search for it? Having the powerful tools of the internet at your disposal would make searching much more beneficial

Interface
WPM and hand cramps, that is what we are measured and limited by. There is already technology in development such as LUI (Language User Interface) such as Dragon Naturally Speaking available commercially which allows you to go from speech to text.

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Stephan Spencer and others predict that the mouse and keyboard will soon be obsolete replaced with conversation, rather than point and click. This freedom from the keyboard will allow for easier interface with the ever shrinking smart phones and other devices that make our lives easier.

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Hopefully it will be easier than this

Better Results
How great would it be if the search engine automatically knew what you were searching for. For example when searching DTD in the search engine you would not get the results such as "Document Type Definition, What is DTD? - A Word Definition From the Webopedia Computer" that is determined by the search engine and how it ranks sites but rather the search engine knowing that you are a member of Delta Tau Delta and giving you information on what your search query needed. Instead of adapting to each search enginee and learning the syntax in which to comunicate with it, the search engine would adapt to you and your needs. There is already some movement toward this with suggestions given by most sites such as amazon in suggesting products that is similar to what their previous purchusing habits have been. All of this information does have a flip side and could be used to harm and not make searching easier for example when amazon was found to be, an economists dream, price discriminating As with all technology people will use it for beneficial and destructive and selfish reasons.

There are certainly many other features and abilities that we would want in our search engine, some we probably cannot even imagine now, and if the law of accelerating returns is correct we might see it sooner than later.

If you found this interesting you can view an interview with Stephan Spencer in the video below, which refuses to be embedded:

Search in 2014 Video

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