Google CEO Muses About The Future Of Search, How It Could Evolve

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Muses about the future of Google Bard, the commercial potential of large language models and LLM search, and the future of link-based search

When asked whether link-based search -- the dominant way people access information on the internet today -- will change a decade from now, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told The Wall Street Journal that “the experience will evolve substantively over the next decade.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Pichai said it's important to understand what users try to accomplish in a search and online. “We work back from that at any given moment like we've always done,” Pichai said.

Large language models (LLMs) and chatbots like Bard will change search in the next decade. It’s difficult to predict whether or not this means the end to link-based search, but the focus really is on trying to understanding what users want and helping them accomplish it.

Pichai declining to provide many specific details, but said Google developers are testing a variety of approaches.

“At a high-level people come to Google to ask follow-up questions,” he said. “We’ll be able to give them more powerful tools to be able to do that.”

Most queries are informational, but what does that mean for advertising on Google Search when it comes to LLMs?

“I think it's tough to carve it out that way,” Pichai said. “You may start a journey somewhere -- go somewhere. You may be interested in ideas for a birthday, how to celebrate a birthday, and in it, at some point, aspects of it may be more commercial and so I think we don't come into it with the view of like, ‘We want to give you commercial journeys.’ That's how we've never approached it.”

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