The growth of cloud computing and internet connectivity will drive search to new levels over the next 10 years, according to Google.
In the latest of a series of articles by company executives, Google vice president of engineering Alfred Spector and research scientist Franz Och painted a picture of internet search in 2019.
The pair describe an internet dominated by cloud computing and a new cloud of internet-capable devices.
As such, the two see a greater pool of information to index, and a larger and richer database of information from a much wider variety of sources.
"Computer systems will have greater opportunity to learn from the collective behaviour of billions of humans," they wrote.
"They will get smarter, gleaning relationships between objects, nuances, intentions, meanings and other deep conceptual information."
These new capabilities could allow far more detailed and specific searches, claims Google. Spector and Och predicted that users could search for multimedia files simply by suggesting a genre or theme.
"We could train our systems to discern not only the characters or place names in a YouTube video or a book, for example, but to recognise the plot or the symbolism," the pair wrote.
"The potential result would be a kind of conceptual search: 'Find me a story with an exciting chase scene and a happy ending'."
Such a system may already be taking root in Google's Mountain View headquarters. Yesterday, the company announced the first public beta of an audio indexing tool which allows users to search political speeches by crawling through the actual words used in the speech.
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