x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • Google wants to build the Star Trek computer and this is not just a metaphor

Google wants to build the Star Trek computer and this is not just a metaphor

Posted: , by Victor H.

Tags:

Google wants to build the Star Trek computer and this is not just a metaphor

It’s no wonder Google is a place where there is a huge concentration of geeks. And not just any kind of geeks - Star Trek geeks. People who bring up Captain Kirk in their daily conversations about work, but again not only that. The Star Trek seems like a metaphor that Googlers use very often in interviews.

Company spokespeople have referred to Android smartphones as a combination of Star Trek’s tricorder and the USS Enterprise computer. And further on, phrases like “Our vision is the Star Trek computer” have floated every now and then from Googlers. However if you think that’s just a superficial metaphor prepare for a surprise:

“The Star Trek computer is not just a metaphor that we use to explain to others what we're building,” Amid Singhal, head of the Google Search ranking team, said. “It is the ideal that we're aiming to build—the ideal version done realistically.”

Search of course is in the core of Google’s business, and Android is often seen as a vessel for Google search with its ads and all related services. An interesting inside bit about the way Google discusses its product are thinking things through Star Trek.

“It comes up often,” Singhal added. “For instance, we might say, ‘Captain Kirk never pulled out a keyboard to ask a question.’ So in that way it becomes one of the design principles—we see that because the Star Trek computer actively relies on speech, if we want to do that we need to work to push the barrier of speech recognition and machine understanding.”

Google wants to build the Star Trek computer and this is not just a metaphor
The Star Trek computer differs from the way computers work right now in that it does not wait for the user to ask it questions, and instead it automatically gives you answers when it thinks you need them. For need, you need contextual awareness and Google is actively building that with its Graph Search engine. For instance, it now knows to give you the right answer about popular people and not just a list of webpages. Search for NBA star Kevin Durant and Google comes up with a neat little card with information about the player - parents, height, weight, background.

“You already see hints of the Star Trek computer in your phone,” Singhal said. “Now we’re trying to get it to a point where it passes the ‘toothbrush test’ of you using it twice a day.”

Google Now is a brilliant illustration. It automatically shows you information depending on the time of the day and your position without you having to ask. It’d suggest the best route back home or a new restaurant for lunch.

Singhal’s prediction is that in just five years Google search would have evolved so much it would become an indispensable part of our lives. We can’t help but share that excitement.

source: Slate

18 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 12 Apr 2013, 04:40 1

1. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


siri.....lol

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 05:07 4

3. jromy (Posts: 113; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)


what about siri?

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 06:38 10

6. aokde (Posts: 185; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


siri is like google now but missing a chromosome lol

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 07:19

8. omar300 (Posts: 174; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


Siri is not like google now, google now is independent search while siri uses alpha wolfram for information

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 08:07

9. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


So true! xD

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 12:39 1

14. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Siri is like a kid (kid's iToy with kid's assistant).... Try to compare with Google now and you will see how poor is Siri :-)

It's unbelievable how stupid Siri is, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grmixtB9dZM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 00:08 1

16. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


Just watched that video. Seems right on part with my experience. Wife has the 4s. I have the Evo LTE. She is always asking me to look something up for her. Google Now finds better results and more accurately 9 X's out of 10 easily. The only thing she uses Siri for really is seen she needs help spelling something.

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 02:41

17. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


So bad? :-D

posted on 13 Apr 2013, 10:18

19. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


Siri is fun to play with, Google Now is way more functional. I wouldn't trade Google for Siri ever.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 04:48

2. cezarepc (Posts: 562; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Ok now I wan't the voice of Jude Law to go along with it.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 05:41 6

4. ronjr123 (Posts: 60; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


Majel Rodenberry's voice.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 06:37 1

5. rizevnarastek (Posts: 329; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


+1 yeah

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 08:14

12. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5263; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Chuck Norris's voice. :)

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 07:04 11

7. lyndon420 (Posts: 1716; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Make it so Google. Engage.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 08:07

10. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


LMMFAOROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 08:08 1

11. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


Google never, ever, seizes to amaze.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 11:47 2

13. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


Say 'nuclear vessel.'
Sigh......nuclear wessel.

posted on 12 Apr 2013, 19:00

15. ocilfa (Posts: 333; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


I think they are across the bay, in Alameda.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories