The Future of the Search Engine

Can you imagine an Internet without Google search? Oren Etzoni, a Washington University computer scientist, can. Or, at least he pictures a very different kind of search. "We could soon view today's keyword searching with the same nostalgia and amusement reserved for bygone technologies such as electric typewriters and vinyl records," he declares in Nature. In other words, the Google of the future could (and maybe should) look very different than the search engine of today. But, what exactly will a more modern search look like? Etzioni and others weigh in with their ideas, providing a picture of what online searching could look like.

No more keyword search box. Eztioni urges developers to think outside the keyword search box. "One threat to progress is the keyword search box, an innovation-retarding trap that 'exerts a powerful gravitational pull,'" explains Bits Blog's Steve Lohr. But if not the search box, then what? Etzioni imagines that people would speak a question and the computer would find an answer. Of course, some alternative mining methods already exist. For example, Shazam and SoundHound, services that identify songs from their notes, are a sort of audio search. But, as Nicholas Scalice computer science blogger points out on his blog, the entity that figures out how to combine all these existing search technologies -- audio search, barcode search, realtime search -- will succeed.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Technology

Just In