Search is no longer the simple act of typing words into a text box. New user interfaces and mobile devices are expanding the web into all aspects of daily life, and even changing the way we think. An explosion of innovation has allowed us to dream big about the role of robotics and Artificial Intelligence. And yet the future of search is fraught with challenges. The stakes can’t be higher.
Is the search industry locked in a race to the bottom or are conditions ripe for a breakthrough? This question took center stage at a gathering in San Francisco on February 1, 2011 which was streamed live on BigThink.com.
Farsight 2011 brought industry leaders together for a series of demos and lively conversations. The brain trust we assembled included Hedge Fund Manager and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Recorded Future co-founder and CEO Chris Ahlberg, journalist entrepreneur Esther Dyson, and many more. In addition, Farsight 2011 brought the major search competitors together for a lively roundtable. This unprecedented meeting of the minds featured Matt Cutts from Google, Harry Shum from Bing, and Rich Skrenta of the upstart search engine Blekko. Sparks flew at this panel moderated by entrepreneur and tech provocateur, Vivek Wadhwa.