At D8, Steve Jobs was asked about competition with Google. Steve Jobs said Google went to mobile to compete with Apple. And that Apple will not go into the search business to go after Google.
While that is technically correct with search as we know it, I believe Apple's recent purchase of Siri represents a direction which no search engines will be able to follow. Apple will be going one step (many steps as a matter of fact) beyond search and into virtual personal assistant (VPA).
With a VPA, it will reside on your mobile device and basically do things for you that no calendar or search engine along can do. I never had a chance to play with the Siri app but with a sophisticated AI system, it will help the user provide a richer mobile experience and, over time, it gets better with use as it learns the user's habits and needs.
And should you ask your VPA to do a few searches, well then, it'll just have to search. Maybe it'll involve Apple creating its own search engine or pass that off to Bing or Google. However it's done, the VPA can do more than just search.
Here is a video demo of the app in action before it was bought by Apple:
KEYNOTE: The Game Changer: Siri, a Virtual Personal Assistant from Semantic Universe on Vimeo.
I am sure we'll hear more about this from Apple pretty soon. Yes, I am very very excited about the prospect of an AI keep my live in order. Too bad, it doesn't vaccum...
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