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Search en­gines have changed over time, es­pe­cially last year. Ear­lier, com­put­ers would not un­der­stand key­words the way we meant it. But now search has moved from key­words to in­tent, with the en­gine try­ing to un­der­stand what users are look­ing for. Last year, Google in­creased the speed of re­sults, and added live search where the en­gine knows what you are typ­ing.

While voice was the big thing in search last year, the next step could be the per­fec­tion of vis­ual search. Google says this is in con­so­nance with its vi­sion for a world where there is “ab­so­lutely no space be­tween your de­sire to know, and the knowl­edge at your fin­ger­tips”. So, if you see the picture of a beau­ti­ful beach, you can just search with the im­age to find where the place is us­ing Google Gog­gles on your mo­bile de­vice and Search by Im­age on your com­puter.

Plus, there could also be a lot of aug­mented in­tel­li­gence at play in the form of trans­la­tion tools. The Web is now truly in­ter­na­tional and be­longs as much to the big lan­guages like English as to the smaller ones. So trans­la­tion tools are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly cru­cial to the way peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate. In its bid to break the lan­guage bar­rier, Google now gives trans­lated English re­sults along­side those in the searcher’s lan­guage.

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