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Google's Schmidt: 'Next Great Stage' Of Search Is Autonomous, Personal

Speaking today at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, Google CEO Eric Schmidt painted a vision of the future in which search is fast, personal, and all-knowing — even to the degree of providing search results when searches haven’t been conducted.

“A new definition of Google would be, we’re trying very hard to get you something fast,” Schmidt said. “Never underestimate the importance of fast…. We want to help you right now. Speed matters, cuz your time matters.”

Schmidt said that the growth of smartphones, cloud computing and the pervasiveness of the internet is creating new opportunities to build new platforms and create new products, and to take search closer to the area of artificial intelligence.

Ultimately, search is a personal activity. Ultimately, where search goes is not just the web, but literally all of your information — your email, the things that you care about. This is with your permission, I might add. This is personal search for you and only you, because ultimately search is about finding what you want right now.

And the next step of search is doing this automatically. So, when I walk down the streets of Berlin — I love history — what I want is the computer, my smartphone to be doing searches constantly. ‘Did you know? Did you know? Did you know? Did you know? This occurred here. This occurred there.’ Because it knows who I am. It knows what I care about. It knows roughly where I am. So this notion of autonomous search — this ability to tell me things I didn’t know but am probably very interested in is the next great stage, in my view, of search.

Schmidt also says Google is focusing on trying to gauge meaning and intent from user searches. “Ultimately, we think we can understand things like what you really meant…. what is the problem you’re really trying to solve?”

During his keynote speech, Schmidt also shared a variety of statistics about Google products and services. Here are some highlights:

  • The mobile web is growing 8x faster than the equivalent desktop web from 10 years ago.
  • One in three queries from smartphones is now about where I am, something around me.
  • Google’s mobile search traffic grew 50% in the first half of 2010. “It’s growing much quicker than everything else.”
  • Android is shipping about 200,000 activations per day now.
  • Search traffic from Android phones tripled in the first half of 2010.
  • Google Chrome now has 70 million users. The latest release is 4x faster than two years ago.
  • YouTube has more than two billion views per day, 160 million mobile views per day, 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute, and more than two billion monetized views per week (that’s up 50% in the last year).
  • Google’s DoubleClick platform serves over 45 billion ads per day.
  • 94 of the Top 100 AdAge advertisers use the Google Display Network.

Three Google employees also shared demos during Schmidt’s keynote. Hugo Barra’s mobile demo included a new Street View interface for Android phones and “Conversation Mode” for Google Translate. He also said that 25% of Android searches in the U.S. are voice searches. Brittany Bohnet
demoed Google TV and announced that Android Market is coming to Google TV in early 2011.

You can watch the full keynote online. It runs a little more than an hour.

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