With the announcements last week from Microsoft and openAI, we are now all actively discussing the future of search
Here are some key takeaways as I interpret them:
- Search engines could now be ‘answer engines’: The idea is not new, but with LLMs, the quality of answers and suggestions gets better
- Chat could be an integral part of search: search becomes interactive and iterative ie unlike conventional search engines, the first response is now the starting point instead of being the ending point
- A co-pilot for the web: The Edge browser becomes a copilot for the web i.e. it can provide features like summarization for a website.
- LLM driven search is embedded into other products.
- Prompt engineering is a new skill for training and accessing search: Through Prompt engineering, a series of tasks can be converted to a prompt-based dataset that a LLM can learn and respond to.
More interestingly, Balaji Srinivasan shared an interesting idea: search engines could evolve into synthesis engines. Through prompt engineering, you can provide a sequence that composes a complex response. In contrast, search engines retrieve a response to single-word queries. So, the future lies in composability. Already, many complex tasks are composable – such as writing scripts and building simple web apps.
So, a legacy search engine will be used to cite someone but you will use a synthesis engine for your own creations.
Most people agree that this future is not far. Whatever your viewpoint on the timelines, I think we all agree that innovation in search is long overdue, and ultimately, innovation will benefit consumers.
We live in interesting times!
source: tweet from Balaji Srinivasan
image source: https://pixabay.com/vectors/reading-studying-lawyer-pastor-297450/