Building Tomorrow’s Search Engines to Sense as Humans Do

In the past decade and a half, there have been only minimal modifications to Google Search. The popular search engine functions as it always has; one enters a query into the type box and in return is given a list of instantaneous results based on the keywords. Although the search engine continues to be effective, Stefan Weitz, senior director of search at Microsoft’s Bing predicts the search engine of tomorrow will be much more advanced and proactive than anything we have today.

google29While Google search is essentially the same as when it launched in 1999, that is not to say it has not undergone some improvements, including “instant search, location-and history-based results, images, news clippings, [and] video,” reports Quartz. These improvements however, have been supplemental at best, and far from radical and groundbreaking.

As the Internet continues to expand, Weitz believes the modern day search engine will be reinvented.

According to Quartz, “[in] 1996, the web consisted of some 100,000 sites, totaling an estimated 441 million pages. Today, search engines routinely index more than 10 trillion pages.” And all those pages don’t even account for data being created elsewhere, by the various apps people constantly run and the recordings at home or wearable smart technology.

Weitz anticipates search engines will take existing technology already available with Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana to create a search engine that “is proactive rather than reactive.” In other words, a search engine that can anticipate your search queries to give you accurate results before you can even ask what to search for. So whether than means receiving an alternative route from work back home to avoid traffic, or specific reading recommendations that omits information you have previously covered, the search engine will become smarter.

Quartz notes that technology firms are moving towards building search systems that can sense as humans do, with human-like vision, hearing and rationale.

“[Search] itself needs to be deconstructed into its component tasks: indexing and understanding the world ad everything in it; reading senses, so search systems can see and hear… and interact with us in more natural ways and communicating with us humans in contextually appropriate ways, whether that’s in text, in speech, or simply by talking to other machines on our behalf to make things happen in the real world,” said Weitz.