Since search engines seem so powerful and potent, the temptation is to think that the “search problem” is pretty much done–it works, it’s fast, and there hasn’t been significant evolution in years. But this is not the case. I’ll talk about how people currently use and think about search, both as a tool for everyday pedestrian tasks and for deeper insights into research questions. Broadly speaking, people don’t really understand how search works, nor what it can do for them. This limits their mental models of search, and has a negative effect on what the kinds of questions they think about posing. I’ll also discuss some of the future of search and how it will evolve.
Daniel Russell is Google’s Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View. He earned his PhD in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence until he realized that amplifying human intelligence was his real passion. His day job is understanding how people search for information, and the ways they come to learn about the world through Google. His 20% job is teaching the world to search more effectively. His MOOC,