Google isn’t ready to turn search into a conversation

Despite Google’s whizzy AI demos at I/O, search is still served best by text

The future of search is a conversation — at least, according to Google.

It’s a pitch the company has been making for years, and it was the centerpiece of last week’s I/O developer conference.

Google isn’t ready to turn search into a conversation

There, the company demoed two conversation AI systems that it hopes, one ufabet, to integrate into all its products. To show off its potential, Google had LaMDA.

As this tech is adopt, users will be able to talk to Google using natural language to retrieve information.

This is more than just marketing for Google. The company has evidently been contemplating what would be a major shift to its core product for years. A recent research paper from a quartet of Google engineers titled “Rethinking Search”, which provide information by ranking webpages, with AI language models that deliver these answers directly instead ?

There are two questions to ask here. First is can it be done? After years of slow but definite progress, are computers really ready to understand all the nuances of human speech? And seconly, should it be done? What happens to Google if the company leaves classical search behind? Appropriately enough, neither question has a simple answer.

can it be done?

There’s no doubt that Google has been pushing a vision of speech-driven search for a long time now. It debuted Google Voice Search in 2011, then upgraded it to Google Now in 2012; launched Assistant in 2016; and in numerous I/Os since, has foregrounded speech-driven, ambient computing, 

Despite clear advances, I’d argue that actual utility of this technology falls far short of the demos. Check out the introduction below of Google Home in 2021, for example, where Google promise that the device will soon let users “control things beyond the home”.