It may be reaching ubiquity, but Google has just scratched the surface of the Web. In fact, computer scientist Weiyi Meng at Binghamton University is already working on Google’s replacement: a search engine that can give you straightforward answers to questions like “Who is Einstein,” instead of simply listing relevant URLs.
The metasearch engine would tap into the million or so search engines around the world, and present a more complete and accurate list of search results by searching the “deep Internet.” While the surface Web—the part of the Web that is indexed by search engines—has about 60 billion pages, the deep Web has about 900 billion pages—and because Google has not been designed to dig deeper, many of those pages are out of reach.
The new search engine would presumably do every bit of brain work for you, so when you type in “economic crisis,” it produces a report that sums up every major opinion on topics such as AIG bonuses, job losses, and the Bernie Madoff scandal—saving you from having to read through hundreds of Web sites before coming to your own conclusion.
Of course, it’s worth asking: If the metasearch engine is built, then won’t it make us even stupider than Google already has?
Image: flickr/ violinha