Gmail Creator Predicts Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Totally Disrupt Google Search in 1 to 2 Years

The most popular search engine on the internet may be headed for some rough sailing in the next one or two years, according to the creator of Gmail.

During that time frame, artificial intelligence will eliminate the need for search engine result pages, which is where Google makes most of its money, and even if the search giant deploys AI to catch up, it can’t do it without destroying the most valuable part of its business, predicted Paul Buchheit in a thread on Twitter.

“One thing that few people remember is the pre-Internet business that Google killed: The Yellow Pages!,” he wrote. “The Yellow Pages used to be a great business, but then Google got so good that everyone stopped using the yellow pages.”

“AI will do the same thing to web search,” he added.

As Buchheit sees it, a browser’s URL/Search bar will be replaced with an AI that autocompletes a thought or question as it’s typed while also providing the best answer, which may be a link to a website or product.

The AI will use the old search engine backend to gather relevant information and links, which will then be summarized for the user, he continued.

“It’s like asking a professional human researcher to do the work, except the AI will instantly do what would take many minutes for a human,” he wrote.

Time for a Change

Ben Kobren, head of communications and public policy at Neeva, an AI-based search engine based in Washington, D.C., maintained that online search is long overdue for an overhaul.

“We’ve become accustomed to the world of 10 blue links,” he explained. “You put in a query, and on a good day, you receive 10 or so relatively useful links to websites that you need to further search to find an answer to your search or query. On a bad day, you receive two pages of advertisements that are trying to get you to click and buy something and not answer your question until you scroll through the ads.”

“In either case,” he continued, “you’re not getting fluid answers that are simple, efficient, and what you’re looking for in one stop. The power of large language models and AI is to make a transformative jump in how we interact with search engines and how we expect information to be returned to us.”

“We haven’t seen that kind of change in search in two decades,” he added.

How Much Disruption?

Artificial intelligence disrupts current search models by providing consumers an easy way to find what they’re looking for, explained Noam Dorros, a director analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory company based in Stamford, Conn.

“Instead of putting in time reviewing different search results for a single answer on search engine results pages, AI gathers relevant information for the consumer, summarizing it in a detailed but succinct manner.

“Consumers’ attention spans continue to dwindle given the endless amount of information that is now accessible through various platforms, so any advancement in technology to satiate that thirst for knowledge in a concise manner can clearly be a game changer,” he added.


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