Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are no longer the stuff of fiction. It has become a technology that is rapidly changing the digital landscape.

The rise of AI has seen it break into a variety of industries. From transportation (self driving cars) and healthcare (diagnosis of disease), to financial (fraud detection) and advertising (campaign simulation), AI is on the increase, and it includes Internet search.

So AI's ascendancy into the world of Internet search shouldn't come as a great surprise. Google's complex deep learning algorithm RankBrain can analyse big data. RankBrain's neural network has the ability to learn a multitude of complex tasks like recognising photos, voice commands and responding accordingly to user intent.

Because of this, targeting keywords in content won’t be such a driver in the future as Rankbrain improves its understanding of user intent.

Instant gratification has become the norm. We want to see relevant results that align with our intent. We want an intelligent system like Google to answer our questions - immediately. Maybe the term 'search engines' will one day evolve to 'answer engines' because that's what they’re becoming.

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Crawling a lot of data and then showing relevant answers to our questions means AI driven technologies have enhanced Internet search in two specific areas:

  • Voice search: Machine learning capabilities mean that search engines can use speech recognition Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help validate and process content quality against spoken search terms
  • Image search: The ability of search engines to index and identify images means that we can use this technology to shop. Google Lens for instance allows users to search using a photograph. It wasn’t so long ago that the process of making a purchase via an image seemed fanciful. Now though it’s entirely possible. Users don’t have to trawl through product catalogues to find the ideal garment. Instead, they can photograph it, search for it using the photo, and obtain a list of credible suppliers before making a purchase. This process can take no more than 5 minutes if the purchase intent is there.

As we continue moving through this decade, there’ll be even more AI developments that will impact the way we look for things. Whether on the web or IoT, our voices will become even more vocal which will generate exciting results.

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