Understanding Google Search – Knowledge Graph & Beyond

Google Search is evolving rapidly into a service where you no longer need to search for information!

I was hosting a Q&A session at Google headquarters in Sydney awhile ago to launch the Using Technology Better Community and the discussion turned towards Google search and what is next.  One of the Google employees made a statement that really caught my attention.  I am not sure how many people caught the significance of the statement or have thought much more about it since.

I can’t quote him word for word but this is pretty close.

Google is now not only delivering information that you ask for, but are developing the ability to give you information before you need it.

Up until now, the way we have interacted with Google search is that we have asked Google questions and it has delivered the answers.  Now Google can tell you what you need to know before you know you need it.

HERE’S HOW:

It all began with Knowledge Graph.  Here is an except from the Google blog from May 2012.

“The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.”

When you conduct a Google search about a someone or something famous, Google will give you a summary of related information as well as related links for you to click to deepen your search (see below).

Google Now will look at what you have in your calendar, your location, what apps and extensions you have downloaded from the chrome store (Google finance for the stock market etc) and will deliver information about your day.  This could include a map to your next appointment, weather forecast for the day, local time in your home city if you are traveling and so on.

As someone who travels a lot this is really handy!  I have all the information I need in one place.  But I think this is just the beginning.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN IN THE CONTEXT OF EDUCATION?

I’m not 100% sure.  What I do know is that the way in which we will be interacting with information in the future will be radically different than it is now.  Our students will have a totally different worldview than the student currently sitting in our classrooms.  I don’t think anyone can predict exactly how Google Search will develop and what that might look like, but I’m pretty keen to find out.

How about you. Are you eager for the future or would you rather things not change?

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