Saturday, May 3, 2008

Search Technology Trends beyond 2008

Microsoft and Yahoo! are working feverishly to extend their market share of search which produces lucrative advertisement dollars. Though Google's leaders frown, they seem unconcerned.

Just what do Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, know that merits such confidence.

Perhaps, they are confident in their technology - Googleware - which consists of a combination of custom software and hardware for optimizing search through the world’s most powerful computational enterprise.

Perhaps, they are confident in their global information collection, storage, and retrieval system to provide the best ranking for quick and relevant access to all information. They are already developing a Google encylcopedia from the libraries of books they have been scanning.

Perhaps, they are confident in their current overwhelming worldwide market dominance.
Or perhaps, they have a vision for the next decade that will connect all of human knowledge to what Larry Page calls 'Perfect Search.'

Extrapolating Google’s success for the near future, we would expect a steady improvement in ranking algorithms to ensure Google’s continued dominance.

Additionally, future Google services will expand into the multimedia areas of television, movies, and music using Google TV and Google Mobile. When Google digitizes and indexes every book, movie, TV show, and song ever produced, viewers could have all of TV history to choose from while Google offers advertisers targeted search. Google Mobile and G-Phone could deliver the same service and products to cell phone technology.

One of the great areas of innovation resulting from Google’s initiatives is its ability to search the Human Genome. Such technology could lead to a personal DNA search capability within the next decade. This could result in the identification of medical prescriptions that are specific to you; and you would know exactly what kinds of side-effects to expect from a given drug.

Soon search will move from PC-centric to small devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. Small objects with a chip and the ability to connect will be network-aware and searchable. While there are several hundred thousand books online, there are 100 million more that are not. So search will soon begin to access deep databases, such as University library systems.

Google's vision also includes connecting information through more intelligent search capabilities. A new Web architecture such as Tim Berners-Lee’s Semantic Web, would add knowledge representation and logic to the markup languages of the Web. Semantics on the Web would offer extraordinary leaps in Web search capabilities to handle natural language queries.

Technology futurists such as Ray Kurzweil have suggested that a web-based systems such as Google's could join a reasoning engine with a search engine to produce Strong AI (software programs that exhibit true intelligence). Strong AI could perform data mining at a whole new level. Consider what might happen if we could achieve ‘perfect search?’ where we could ask any question and get the perfect answer – an answer with real context. The answer could draw upon all of the world’s knowledge using text, video, and audio. And it would reflect the real nuance of meaning. Most importantly, it would be tailored to your own particular context. That’s the stated goal of IBM, Microsoft, Google and others.

Developing 'perfect search' would have to be reached in three steps. First, ubiquitous computing populates the world with devices - introducing microchips everywhere. Then the ubiquitous Web connects and controls these devices on a global scale. The ubiquitous Web's pervasive infrastructure allows URI access to physical objects just as the Web does in cyberspace. The final step comes when artificial intelligence reaches the level where it can manage and regulate devices seamlessly within this environment – achieving a kind of ubiquitous intelligence.

In Connections: Patterns of Discovery the patterns of discovery are presented that produce the ‘big picture’ for the Information Revolution’s innovations leading to ubiquitous intelligence (UI) where everyone is connected through small devices to what Google founder Larry Page calls ‘perfect search.’


Connections: Patterns of Discovery

Developing Semantic Web Services

Web Site: Video Software Lab

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