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Can Google’s Dream of Conversational Searches Come True?

Right now if you wanted to end up searching for something or the other on Google, pretty much the only thing that you can end up doing would be to type your search query in. Google, or any other search engine, would pick up the keywords from this search query and would compare them to the content that is displayed on various sites, subsequently showing you a list of relevant web pages that are ranked based on how relevant they might be at this current point in time.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Google has been trying to move away from this mode of searching for quite some time now. We have already seen Google trying to answer a lot of search queries directly from the results page through cards and the like, but two new forms of AI that Google unveiled at the I/O conference that recently occurred have revealed that Google might just end up trying to move away from text based searches entirely in favor of a more conversational approach that would have questions answered directly by the AI instead of a list of relevant web pages being shown to the inquirer.

The two new forms of AI are LaMDA and MUM, and both of them were able to offer a very intuitive search experience for people. An interesting depiction of the search functionality of this AI involved a visualization of the planet Pluto answering questions that were asked by itself, thereby creating a very immersive search experience that could be very interesting in the long run.

However, it seems unlikely that conversational searches could replace text anytime soon. There is just too much nuance and variety in how people speak for this to be possible now. Voice search queries need to be spoken very carefully at present since AI can often face difficulty understanding various accents even though they are really common. Hence, Google’s plans might seem really futuristic and intriguing, but at the moment they are mostly just a glimpse of a future that isn’t likely to pass in the short term.



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