Following the announcement that the web search giant plans to promote the head of its Artificial Intelligence research department as head of its search division, many people started asking themselves: is Google going to pour more AI into its search engine?
Google said Feb. 3 that John Giannandrea will now lead the search department as former search king Amit Singhal who led the division for 15 years announced that he will retire to pursue his philanthropic purposes.
But the piece of news may mean more than we see at a first glance. The move may be a sign that the tech behemoth has big plans to implement more AI into its largest business. So far, Google paired AI with its efforts to prevent online fraud, its smart word identification programs, and driverless cars.
Singhal wrote in a recent blog post that more than 1 billion people use the company’s search engine, so expectations are high. Plus, online search is ‘stronger than ever,’ former search boss said, and it would become even stronger with the new leaders.
With the new AI boss in charge of the world’s most popular search engine, we could see the search engine morph into a system that can accurately predict what you are looking for, with minimum keyboard input.
The idea was touted by Google’s co-founder Larry Page in the early 2000s when he said that AI could turn Google into “the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web.”
The idea was confirmed by Google employees, as well, who said that anything Page could thing about was how to implement AI into the company’s crown jewel. In 2015, an anonymous Google engineer said that the tech giant was scanning all those books not for people, but for machines.
A few days ago, Google announced that it is the proud owner of a software that defeated a human champion at Go, a Chinese strategy game that is even more difficult than the traditional chess. Earlier this week, the company’s CFO said that artificiall intelligence was listed as one of the most significant ‘moon shots’ on its to-do list.
But in the meantime Singhal made all these possible. Over the last 15 years, the amount of work he put into the web search business was so tremendous, and he helped the business flourish so much that someone even likened him to Apple’s famed designer Jony Ive.
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