How do you search for information? Google? Bing? Let’s say you’re looking for a job in finance. Where do you start? Most people will probably begin with a Google search. So you get your cup of tea, sit down, and type in www.google.com on your computer. Next, you type in “jobs in finance in New York” in the search box. This will bring up, literally, about 24 MILLION results. An Internet search engine allows anyone to search for practically anything. However, when one wants to delve deeper into a domain, this vessel has its limitations. Google doesn’t really narrow things down for you. It’s about giving you as many possibilities as possible, not about zeroing in on what you really need. After you’ve typed in those few words on Google, its job is done. It is now up to you to sift through all those websites that Google has brought up under your search. You’ll have to click on every website and most likely have to do a few more searches to start getting the information you were after in the first place.
But what if I don’t want to go through all that hassle?It takes a lot of time and energy to do in-depth web searches. It is even more annoying if you have to search for something that should technically not take too much of your time. For instance, let’s say you’re looking for a Thai restaurant near where you are, while you’re out and about. You don’t have your computer in front of you and you need this information in a hurry. So you do a search on Google, then it brings up some names (the top options are most likely to be sponsored ads) and then about 730,000 other results that you have to trawl through. There is nothing more tedious than having to bring up restaurant websites on your smartphones to get simple information such as locations, opening hours and have a quick look at menus. Also read: From chatbots to intelligent things: Here are 5 exciting industries startups can focus on this year
Chatbots — the change in searchEnter chatbots, the change in information searching. This might potentially change how you search for information, forever. Instead of just listing hundreds of thousands of search results, specialised chatbots in different domains do the legwork for you. And what’s even more spectacular is that the chatbot is built not just to pass information, but to include task execution. And to include task execution, will be the key to the upcoming change. For example, Stars & Catz offers a music research engine ability where you can search the name of an artist, band, composer, song and the music search engine will generate the results from the content combining YouTube videos with Wikipedia. A music chatbot knows all the features and functions, and users would be able to always find the music chatbot at the tip of their fingers. On top of that, the chatbot would be able to allow you to execute certain tasks the website is unable to perform. There is no need to download any applications and the whole user experience is cater to mobility. Chatbots are popping up everywhere. Wanna know what the weather’s like? Ask the weather bot. How about groceries? A grocery bot will help pick out and order groceries for you. Also read: Can AI, chatbots, and conversations change the web design industry? How about the news? Sick of having to go online, type in URLs and search for news? Just ask your news bot — CNN has one and so does the Washington Post. Ask the bot to tell you whenever something interesting comes up and it’ll ping you with relevant news stories. Last but not least, a bot can also be a friend. In China, there’s a bot called Xiaoice (built by Microsoft) and over 40 million people talk to it on a regular basis, as they would a human friend.
A future where bots kill websites and mobile apps isn’t certain, but I believe it is very likely. - Matt Schlicht