What does the future hold for search engines? Is Google as far as the realm of Internet search will go? According to the Technological Singularity hypothesis, Internet search has not yet reached the apex. A technological singularity occurs when the intellectual capacity of humans has been so greatly augmented by technology that it facilitates a hyperintelligence. Under this hypothesis, Internet search is bound to succumb to knowledge in the next few decades.
Theoretically, the human capacity for learning and knowledge acquisition is endless. A human could conceivably store and parse more information than Watson, the artificial intelligence computer system developed by IBM. Watson’s 15 terabytes of human knowledge and superfast algorithmic processing power came in handy when it beat the whip-smart champions of the television quiz show Jeopardy! in February, 2011.
The human processes of learning, teaching and knowledge acquisition have been significantly augmented by the Information Age. While the advances in Internet technology have come a long way from the days of dial-up modems, bulletin board systems and America Online, the search interface paradigm basically remains the same: users need some sort of input device and an Internet connection to access information. Whether it’s a keyboard, touch screen or voice command, humans are dependent on external hardware input devices.
What if the external interfaces could be eliminated, or at least minimized so that they can no longer be classified as hardware? The current answer to that question lies in the world of brain-computer interfaces, which are commercially available and open to developers. Brain-computer interfaces are wonders of electroencephalography (EEG) technology that allow true wireless, hands-free and voiceless interaction between humans and external devices. The Emotiv EPOC is such a device. While it may sound -and look- like something out of a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, the Emotiv EPOC is able to recognize thought patterns via electrodes and translate them into actions.
The Emotiv EPOC is mostly used for computer gaming these days, but the day will soon come when brain-computer interfaces can execute a Google search. Think about the SEO and marketing possibilities: custom search results and advertising based on the user’s thoughts, emotions and general state of mind. What is your opinion about neural SEO? What can be accomplished in terms of Internet marketing? Please leave your comments and ideas.