google: command line interface to the world

[repost from 2005]

It hit me a couple of weeks ago… the search box in Google is quickly becoming a command line interface to the world. Type in “define:xxx” and you get multiple definitions of xxx. Type in a phone number and you get a name and address. You can do all sorts of search concatenation and Boolean manipulations. You can type in mathematical expressions and get answers. Type in “movie” and you get movie listings in your city. Google always seems to know what we want.

There are many more features of Google’s “search,” but it’s already beyond search. I can imagine a day in the future when we’ll say, “open the pod bay doors, Google.” Makes me wonder if all our searching isn’t a massive neural net training in disguise.