Search Engines getting ready to answer questions directly - Good or Bad?
This technology could totally change the way most people search for information, you would no longer need to search through multiple possibly related webpages to find the actual answer. The answer would simply be presented to you by the engine. Whether this is a good thing or simply another crutch that people will use instead of thinking for them selves is up for debate but it certainly looks interesting.
Computer scientist, Stephen Wolfram, feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek’s ship computers. His version will be found on their Web-based application, Wolfram Alpha
What does this mean? Well instead of returning links to pages that may (or may not) contain the answer to your questions, Wolfram will respond with the actual answer. Now the caveat ‘factual’ is important. You can ask it questions like ‘why is the sky blue?’ or ‘how many bones are in the human body?’, but probably not ‘do you think abortion is wrong?’. This computational knowledge engine uses natural language to parse the questions and can also accept coded queries.