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In less than a decade, Internet search engines have completely changed how people gather information. No longer must we run to a library to look up something; rather we can pull up relevant documents with just a few clicks on a keyboard. Now that "Googling" has become synonymous with doing research, online search engines are poised for a series of upgrades that promise to further enhance how we find what we need.
New search engines are improving the quality of results by delving deeper into the storehouse of materials available online, by sorting and presenting those results better, and by tracking your long-term interests so that they can refine their handling of new information requests. In the future, search engines will broaden content horizons as well, doing more than simply processing keyword queries typed into a text box. They will be able to automatically take into account your location--letting your wireless PDA, for instance, pinpoint the nearest restaurant when you are traveling. New systems will also find just the right picture faster by matching your sketches to similar shapes. They will even be able to name that half-remembered tune if you hum a few bars.

Today's search engines have their roots in a research field called information retrieval, a computing topic tracing back nearly 50 years. In a September 1966 Scientific American article, " Information Storage and Retrieval," Ben Ami Lipetz described how the most advanced information technologies of the day could handle only routine or clerical tasks. He then concluded perceptively that breakthroughs in information retrieval would come when researchers gained a deeper understanding of how humans process information and then endowed machines with analogous capabilities. Clearly, computers have not yet reached that level of sophistication, but they are certainly taking users' personal interests, habits and needs into greater account when completing tasks.


This is a one column, two row table with a border of 1. The width is set at 100 percent of screen size.
In less than a decade, Internet search engines have completely changed how people gather information. No longer must we run to a library to look up something; rather we can pull up relevant documents with just a few clicks on a keyboard. Now that "Googling" has become synonymous with doing research, online search engines are poised for a series of upgrades that promise to further enhance how we find what we need.
New search engines are improving the quality of results by delving deeper into the storehouse of materials available online, by sorting and presenting those results better, and by tracking your long-term interests so that they can refine their handling of new information requests. In the future, search engines will broaden content horizons as well, doing more than simply processing keyword queries typed into a text box. They will be able to automatically take into account your location--letting your wireless PDA, for instance, pinpoint the nearest restaurant when you are traveling. New systems will also find just the right picture faster by matching your sketches to similar shapes. They will even be able to name that half-remembered tune if you hum a few bars.

Today's search engines have their roots in a research field called information retrieval, a computing topic tracing back nearly 50 years. In a September 1966 Scientific American article, " Information Storage and Retrieval," Ben Ami Lipetz described how the most advanced information technologies of the day could handle only routine or clerical tasks. He then concluded perceptively that breakthroughs in information retrieval would come when researchers gained a deeper understanding of how humans process information and then endowed machines with analogous capabilities. Clearly, computers have not yet reached that level of sophistication, but they are certainly taking users' personal interests, habits and needs into greater account when completing tasks.

Text from http://www.sciam.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=0006304A-37F4-11E8-B7F483414B7F0000