Is Google Looking To Build a Star Trek Computer?
However, search is still fundamentally about submitting a query and hoping that you get a bunch of links to help you find what you’re looking for. According to Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, however, Google has much higher aims: the company wants to build the computer from Star Trek. Manjoo says that this isn’t slang for some cool thing Google wants to do with search; Googlers he’s spoken with in recent years are actually using the Star Trek computer as a template and a goal, and they refer to it all the time as they’re developing new search capabilities.
Google in its infancy
Essentially, Google wants users to be able to simply say out loud what they want and have helpful conversation with high-level artificial intelligence. This AI would understand what you’re asking and give you the answer (instead of providing a path for you to discover the answer on your own), but it would also anticipate what information you need. There are glimmers of this potentiality with developments such as Google Now, the predictive virtual assistant.
Here’s the kicker: A Star Trek-esque Google search engine could happen in as little as three years. Or at least, it would pass the “toothbrush test” of being able to correctly give users answers at least twice a day. Considering what such a search engine needs to comprehend to make that work, that feat sounds incredible.