The rise of personal assistants and the death of the search box
Columnist Eric Enge recaps the SMX West 2016 keynote by Googler Behshad Behzadi, who envisions a not-too-distant future in which voice search becomes more ubiquitous -- and may even replace the search box.
On March 1, Behshad Behzadi, Google’s director of conversational search, gave a keynote address at SMX West in San Jose. This keynote was loaded with insight into Google’s perspective on where search is today, and where it’s going.
In today’s column, I’m going to provide a review of some of the things I took out of the keynote, then offer my thoughts on what the future holds. In short, I’m going to outline why this spells impending doom for the concept of a “search box.”
We actually got some initial insight into this right at the beginning of the keynote. Google’s goal is to emulate the “Star Trek” computer, which allowed users to have conversations with the computer while accessing all of the world’s information at the same time. Here is an example clip showing a typical interaction between Captain Kirk and that computer:
Behzadi also showed a clip from the movie, “Her,” and noted that “Star Trek” was imagining a future 200-plus years away (the show originally aired in the 1960s), and “Her” was envisioning a future just over 20 years away. Behzadi, on the other hand, believes that this will unfold in less than 20 years.