Future of Search: Google boss sees ‘augmented humanity’


Google CEO Eric Schmidt has outlined his company's ideas for the future of search technology, where we are never lonely, never forget anything, never get lost, never run out of ideas, are never bored and never need to drive a car because it will drive itself. Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Schmidt outlined a vision of the future where computers will be able to suggest useful information based on past preferences, the location of the user and the time of day.

He said: "We are at one of those points in technology where something interesting is about to happen. We're building an augmented version of humanity - getting computers to help us do the things we are not very good at and have humans helping computers do the things they're not very good at."



That is everything from keeping lists for us to helping us navigate the world and from telling us about the world around us to entertaining us 24/7 and keeping us in touch with friends and colleagues online.

Schmidt said the long term goal here is to ensure everyone lives a happier life. Central to this is information, which is where Google comes in as a company driven by organising all the world's data and making it accessible.

Schmidt noted that search traffic tripled throughout the first half of 2010 and that Google had hit a new high with two billion searches a day while YouTube also hit the two billion views a day mark.

Making the information relevant is what counts said Mr Schmidt as more and more, computers filter and direct information that is personal to users based on how much they want to share.
In the future, he remarked, "We can suggest where you go next, who to meet, what to read...What's interesting about this future is that it's for the average person, not just the elites."

Schmidt also suggested that cars will be able to navigate without the driver's intervention, and that human control of vehicles is a "bug in the system".

In the long term Google expects the majority of search requests to come from mobile devices, and Schmidt pointed to the growth in the use of Android, particularly for voice searches.

"Eventually we think mobile will be the majority of the searches and the majority of the revenue, but it's a long time," he said.

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