About a year ago, Google's then-CEO Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal about the next big leap in search technology that Google is working on.
In the future, according to Schmidt, you won't have to do searching as much as you do now. Instead, Google's back-end system will proactively suggest things like a personal assistant would. Those suggestions will be based on a detailed understanding of your preferences, and also of the world.
Schmidt said at last year's TechCrunch Disrupt conference that the next step in boosting the speed of search results is something called "autonomous search." The idea is that Google is always searching in the background for you based on your context at any moment.
This self-directed search engine will draw from multiple data points, including product and service rankings, store inventory databases, geo-location data and most of all, your personal history using Google services. Another aspect of the "autonomous search" idea is constant improvement. The more you use the service, the more accurate and useful it becomes.
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