Google's Universal Assistant & Ambient Computing To Change Search As We Know It

Nov 27, 2015 - 8:27 am 18 by
Filed Under Google

Google Universal Assistant Prototype on Amit Singhal

TIME has this great piece on Google Now and a prototype of the communicator that Captain Picard and company use to interact with the Enterprise on Google's search czar Amit Singhal. It is basically something you tap, ask a question, get an answer.

What I found more interesting was a post on Google+ by Google's Yonatan Zunger, the Chief Architect for Social at Google, but who now is working full time on what he is calling and I assume what Google is calling "the universal assistant." He said "for the past several months, I've been focusing on this full-time, and this is what I expect to be spending the next several years on: making "ambient computing." He defined ambient computing as "computing that is seamlessly present wherever you are, so easily accessible that you barely even realize that you're interacting with a computer -- a worldwide reality."

So we've seen baby steps towards this with Google's Knowledge graph, featured snippets, answers, etc. More so with Google mobile searches, voice search especially and the creepy way Google Now shows you answers before you want it. But it is going to get big in the upcoming years.

Yonatan said, "simply searching for web pages isn't what people want, nowadays: they want to be able to talk into their computer (or into their phone, or simply speak into the void) and have it understand what they mean, what they want, and make it happen." Adding "we have to go far beyond simple things like search: we have to have systems that make it easy for people to interact with and extend the assistant to do everything conceivable." "That's where I'm spending my time, and I'm looking forward to being able to tell people more in the future," Yonatan Zunger said.

You know, we all know this is coming but it seems like right now, it is at our footsteps. It is an amazing thing to be able to solve and it will never be 100% but it is getting so close and so much more powerful that it is scary. Scary not just in terms of the technology and how far it has come but it has to be a concern for those ten blue links and how (a) SEOs can monetize them and (b) how Google will monetize them (i.e. AdWords).

Either way, there are lots of smart people out there both on the SEO front and in the AdWords team and I am sure they will figure out ways. The team working on this at Google has no care on how anyone will monetize it, which is pretty cool.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Photo credit to TIME magazine.


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