Knowledge is No Longer Power
As the old adage goes, "knowledge is power" by Francis Bacon. However in the Information Age, information and knowledge is abundant. So much so, it can be overwhelming. Therefore, knowledge is no longer power by itself.
In the Information Age, the new power is being able to find information. I guess that is why Google’s search engine is so popular. Another powerful tool is being able to process a large amount of data to draw conclusions, find patterns/trends, undercover hidden secrets, etc. This is often simply called data mining. This is basically finding useful information in a mountain of raw data.
As a result, in my opinion, the next form of Internet search engines will not be keyword matching, such as Google. In my opinion, the next search engines will be more of a question and answer service. Currently, if you wanted to know when George Washington’s birthday was, you would search for a historical bibliography, such as a Wikipedia page, of George Washington or use keywords, such as “George Washington birthday”, to find a list of webpages that might have the information that you are looking for. Instead in the future, you would just ask a basic simple question, such as “When was George Washington’s birthday?”, and only the answer that you are looking for would be displayed with references to webpages that was used to determine the information.
If you would like to see a prototype of these types of search engines, please visit Wolfram Alpha Computation Knowledge Engine.
by Phil for Humanity