Conversation 1

Search is our new interface to all things digital, and as such needs to move from its command line approach to one that feels more like a dialog. To get there, we’ll need to trust that everything we disclose online – our behaviors, our clickstreams, and our intent – are managed through a trusting relationship. The future of search is as a conversation with someone we trust.
John Battelle,

One of the most important things a student learns in a library science program is the reference interview. Having interview skills helps librarians help researchers, by focusing their search, using the best terms and identifying specific resources for their needs. A key component in the future of web search will be online tools that help searchers find the right resources and refine their research questions when an info professional is not present. From suggesting the right vertical search database, to providing terms, concepts, and related names, to offering a direct link to chat with a live information professional (yes, a real human) that can assist the searcher get what they need in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort. The future of search will emulate some of what many public libraries currently offer for free… and yet there will always be refinements that only a talented human can bring to the search process.
Gary Price,

What’s wrong with search? How about not finding what I want, and not being able to use language that is part of my life. Why do I have to use #+”&, when simple, Help me find best Indian restaurant in Seattle, should suffice.
Om Malik,

What I’d like from a search engine of the future is control. Give me more control over how I choose to search and find information online.
J Michael Arrington,

I never look beyond the first page of results. A search engine needs to better understand what I’m looking for. Ultimately, I believe we’ll have chips in our brains to operate search. These chips will scan the Web, but also crawl the archive of much of our personal experiences.
Matt Marshall,

I hope that future search engines deliver personalized results to me, preferably using natural language. I’m expecting a lot of innovation in search UI too and ideally I’d like results sent to me automatically, by search agents and personalized feeds that monitor my favorite topics.
Richard MacManus,

True search nirvana is still an arcane discipline, requiring people to put in considerable effort to get the results that they need. We all have friends who can magically find things that we ourselves can’t, and it’s not like we’re technical dimwits. All manner of things lead to this, including the problems of blogspam, natural language queries, and the general difficulties of encapsulating our thoughts into a search query. Until Internet Search is pure putty in the hands of all technical people, how can the average Internet user truly experience all that the Internet can do? What is needed is both painfully simple in theory and yet quite difficult in practice: search that thinks like humans do, beyond the scope of keywords and link relationships and into the realm of concepts, ideas, and meaning. Anthropologists long ago taught us that there are three sides to every story. Online, there’s ten times that. The next-generation of search is going to need to step beyond the current impasse and be an arbiter of knowledge rather than links. Today the master of search is one who knows the Internet well, and knows how to craft queries to get around the problems that the explosion of materials online poses. Tomorrow’s master of search will hopefully be everyone who can pose intelligent questions to an intelligent system, one that understands the meaning behind our queries.
Ars Technica,

Web search is still in its infancy. The central dogma is the relevancy problem which requires meaning-sensitive algorithms. Being able to retrieve highly relevant results from the long-tail can only be accomplished systematically by a complete semantic approach.
Dr. Christian F. Hempelmann,