Google has teased that the future of internet search will omit user input stating that the company’s search software will “just know” what users are wanting to search.
The futuristic claims came direct from Google’s Executive Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt who, talking with the Telegraph at the World Economic Forum in Davos, declared: "We still think of search as something you type. Perhaps a decade from now, you will think, well, that was interesting, I used to type but now it just knows."
Expanding to explain the theory being this autonomous, pre-emptive search Schmidt said: "How does it know? Well, on mobiles we know where you are, down to the nearest foot. You've chosen to log in, with your permission, and it knows where you are and it can provide a personalised service." Somewhat scarily Schmidt added: "Technically, with your permission, we know where you are, we know your history, we can do data extraction and look at what it tells us."
Keen to express Google is only using data its clients permit it to use Schmidt went on to predict: "In 50 years it is reasonable to assume in technology that all of these distinctions between computers and cloud will have gone away. There will be a ubiquitous computational capability that is just so free and so amazing that people will assume that it is an assistant. It knows who you are, it knows what you do, it makes suggestions, it intuits things for you."
Far from the mind-reading witchcraft it might first appear to be, Schmidt’s predictions of a search engine that will “just know” what users want point towards a predictive search system that will learn from user habits and general surroundings to offer a selection of possible user needs.