Wouldn’t it be cool if search engines were so smart that they’d implicitly understand even our most complex information needs and provide spot-on results just from the spare two-or-three word queries that most of us rely on? It’ll happen, though not in the near term. But you can get a tantalizing glimpse of how applied artificial intelligence will likely change our search experience by visiting a web site that’s up and running today.
In today’s SearchDay article, If Search Engines Could Read Your Mind, I take a look at 20Q.net, a site that lets you play a version of the popular children’s game “twenty questions,” and uses a neural network to guess what you’re thinking about. 20Q.net is surprisingly good, and foreshadows some technologies that will likely be commonplace in our search tools some years down the road.