Tech giant Google may be tweaking the search engine that launched its success. The search engine of the future will use software based on inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s theory of intelligence. The software will be like a virtual assistant with the ability to understand questions and give fully developed answers, instead of a list of links. The search engine may even alert users when there are updates on a previous search query. Kurzweil joined Google 18 months ago to help develop the new software.
Kurzweil is optimistic about the future of the product. He believes that the new software will be just as popular as Google’s current search engine. It will also use cheaper specialized chips that will make the technology more cost effective. Eventually, the software will be able to search not only text documents, but other media as well.
Kurzweil’s theory is at the core of the project. He believes that the brain has a hierarchy to process information. Each layer of the hierarchy recognizes increasingly complex patterns using the simpler information from lower layers.
According to MIT Technology Review, “Google’s current search technology is able to understand only the lower levels of that hierarchy, such as synonyms for individual words, says Kurzweil. It can’t synthesize that low-level knowledge to build up understanding of higher-level concepts.”
The virtual assistant may even function at a similar rate to humans. Kurzweil and Google CEO Larry Page believe it is possible to create software that can make 100 trillion calculations per second.
“It would be hard to provide that to a billion users, although I’ve discussed that with Larry Page and he thinks it’s possible,” Kurzweil said.