Google is looking to have its search engine understand questions and have a "conversation" with its users.
Google exec Amit Singhal said that Google Search now has a basic understanding of "pronoun and anaphora resolution," according to AllThingsD. Because of this, Android's virtual assistant can reply back to a question and understand a second question refers to the previous noun. (The questions were "How old is Justin Bieber?" and then, "How tall is he?")
This means that a user can now talk to the search engine as if it were a real person rather than in specific search language. Google is attempting to make search more conversational, and that means creating intelligence that can understand context, can discriminate between homonyms and make "educated guesses." Other search engines, such as Bing, are also working on this more natural interface.
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Is this dumbing down search? In some ways, it could be considered that, but in the continued battle for practicality and time-saving, a search engine that understands and answers conversational questions may be highly desirable.