TechCrunch is a technology blog and is respected enough to gain access to te biggest tech players in the world. In this interview with the CEO of Google (Eric Schmidt) they ask about the future of search:

“So I don’t know how to characterize the next 10 years except to say that we’ll get to the point – the long-term goal is to be able to give you one answer, which is exactly the right answer over time. Okay, you know, the question I’ll ask today, how many Americans have – what percentage of Americans have passports?…The Google’s answer was a site, which was somebody who had attempted to answer that question and had multiple answers. It’s quite interesting actually to read…So you go to a very good definitive site. And what I’d like to do is to get to the point where we could read his site and then summarize what it says, and answer the question…Along with the citation and so forth and so on.”

It’s a challenge to do that for fact based questions (such as ‘How many Americans have passports?’) but could they really tackle clinical questions? These sorts of questions are so much harder as there is often not an answer – more the odd bit of research that helps a doctor form an opinion. Perhaps in twenty years time they’ll get close!

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