Google engineering chief Ray Kurzweil believes that Internet search engines will begin to function more like humans within 5-8 years. This includes the ability to respond to more complex questions asked by users. Not only that, but the more human-like search engines of the future will be able to exercise comprehension of the pages they’re searching and be able to point to the information that will be most useful to users. Users will be able to solve problems more quickly as well as gain the information needed for the projects they engage in.
Kurzweil shared his vision of future search-engine technology while being interviewed by Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker at the Wall Street Journal CIO conference this week. Google’s search-engine results have historically been based on relevance and popularity. The future of search-engine technology, however, will add the element of comprehension. Kurzweil’s search development at Google right now is focused on getting the search engine to understand the content of the pages it searches.
Kurzweil describes a search engine where users can enter whole paragraphs with more complex questions and the possibility of the search engine entering into a dialogue with the user in order to better help the user find the information they need. He even sees the capability of the search engine doing research projects when it doesn’t immediately know the answer to a user’s question. Kurzweil believes that users will begin to experience some of these advancements in 5-8 years and that search engines will exhibit human-like capabilities by 2029.
The rapid advancements in search-engine technology are an integration of human and artificial intelligence. Kurzweil calls his vision of a more human-like artificial intelligence in search engines the Singularity. Though such technological advancements might spark thoughts of a dystopian future in some people’s minds, Kurzweil believes that Google’ inclusionary vision will prevent this type of dehumanization from occurring.
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