Genie outside the bottle


As a child I had always imagined computer to be a magic box. A mean machine that would answer all the questions that you throw at it. It was only as I grew up I understood it is the GIGO(Garbage In Garbage Out) principle at work. I was disappointed to some extent but nevertheless understood that is how things work and computer is not a panacea.

With the arrival of “The Internet” that came to India in 1995 things looked different. And then came a invention called Google which has been the top dog among search engines for almost a decade. It was a path breaker and somewhat resembled my imagination of a computer. You type in any question and it would link you to the pages that answers your question within fraction of a second.

Some days back(May 15 to be prcise) I tried Wolfram Alpha and voila! this is what I imagined my computer to be. This one computes the answer instead of just searching for keywords. It is as if I had found a genie out of the bottle. Though it cannot answer all the questions whichever it does, does it well. While I am still amazed how it was made possible, I am thoroughly convinced “knowledge engines” are the next big thing on the Internet. But it is going to take a while for people to Wolfram an answer rather than Google it out. Google has come up with one such engine called Google Squared

But there is one thing I still miss whenever I am out to search an image. An Image search engine. Currently(as per my knowledge) we have only text search. We can get image results but we cannot upload a image and say “Search an image that looks something like this”. Now that is being “extra greedy” I guess but that is how Human Mind works ( Yeh Dil Mange More). What say?

PS:The celebrated Stanford professor, Rajeev Motwani, known worldwide for mentoring and advising founders of the companies like Google and PayPal, has died in a freak drowning incident. He co-authored the paper on pagerank with Larry Page and Sergey Brin(Founders of Google) and Terry Winograd. Let his soul rest in peace.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Google Goggles « Sapna's Blog

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