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Search Engines of the Future

Vertical Search Engines, Other Search Methods, User Preferences And Artificial Intelligence, The Intelligent Web

One major obstacle that remains in place when writing about the future of the Internet is that it is a technology that is always changing. A librarian at the New York Public Library of Science and Business said, “You can't write about the future of search engines; anything you'd write has either happened this morning and we don't know it yet, or else it's [a technology that hasn't appeared] yet.” What do people want from search engines? How will information be classified in the future? The librarian was right; our methods of searching information are changing as rapidly as the Internet itself.

Many people put the goals of search engines into exactly the same terms: They say they want computers to use natural language so that they can ask questions and have computers answer them as a human would. (From a technological standpoint, that's employing what is known as artificial intelligence—having a computer estimate a response based on a set of controlled factors, better voice recognition, and natural language inquiry.)

The future of search engine technology isn't going in just one direction except insofar as it is all moving toward creating a world in which every device (laptops, PDAs, cell phones) is searchable. This desire of mobilizing constant “live” search abilities across platforms requires compatibility between operating systems and languages.

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