Google still a ‘million miles’ from perfect search admits CEO Larry Page

Google chief executive Larry Page

Google chief executive Larry Page has penned his annual shareholders letter and revealed some of his plans for the coming year.

In a letter that covers many topics and business efforts Page said that Google is still in the early days of search, and is a long way from his perfect vision.

“In many ways we’re a million miles away from creating the search engine of my dreams, one that gets you just the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort. That’s partly because understanding information in a deep way is a hard problem to solve,” said Page in his letter.

However, Google is getting closer, according to the CEO, and efforts like Google Now and Google+ are making the quick and precise answering of questions a strong proposition when combined with contextual information.

“While it is still early days, we’ve also made significant progress understanding people’s context, which is crucial if we are to improve human-computer interaction,” he wrote.

“Think about your commute. You need the traffic information very accessible so you can plan for it, or avoid it altogether. If you’re going to another appointment, you want the directions to start from where you are at that moment (rather than having to type in your location on a small screen).

He also touted improved in understanding the context of search: “We’re getting closer: ask how tall the Eiffel Tower is, and then when ‘it’ was built. By understanding what ‘it’ means in different contexts, we can make search conversational.”

Page also did some looking back and said that in six years the Android operating system has been activated on a billion devices. Also in the billions are Google searches with 100 billion searches carried out each month.

Google will go forward, he said, and will continue to invest in health and health technology, and the wider spread of internet access.

“Sixteen years after we started Google, we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible. Sergey and I come to work each day excited about what lies ahead and the extraordinary people we work with,” he added.

“Googlers make everything possible, and they are our future. And, while the world may have changed over the years, we’re as motivated by the potential to make a difference in people’s lives today as when we first started.”

The letter comes as Google faces a major issue with search indexing of information that individuals want to be removed from its index, after a ruling in Europe. Google is already dealing with requests to have data removed since the ruling.

15 May 2014 | 3:39 pm – Source: v3.co.uk
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