Google Introduces new search tools to try to read our minds
May 16, 2013
Google revealed some new search tools on Wednesday at I/O, its annual developers conference, The New York Times reports. Taken together, they are another step toward Google’s trying to become the omnipotent, human-like “Star Trek” search engine that its executives say they want it to be.
When people ask Google certain questions, it will now try to predict the person’s follow-up questions and answer them, too. Ask for the population of India, for instance, and you will also get the population of China and the United States, because Google knows those are the most common follow-up questions.
This is an extension of Google’s knowledge graph — its semantic search product that aims to understand the meaning of things, not just keywords.
Google Now, the service that sends you information on traffic and weather before you even ask for it, is also digging deeper into our minds. Google is adding more entertainment alerts, like new music based on videos watched on YouTube, and turning Google Now into a robotic to-do list and a stronger competitor to Apple’s Siri.
Google is also trying to make search more conversational by encouraging people to talk to their phones and computers and hear answers out loud. Google announced that people can now talk to its Chrome browser to perform a search, by saying, “O.K. Google.” Google also uses location information to answer questions.
In another step to personalize search, Google is expanding its tool that plucks information from Gmail and presents it in search results.