Bing director Stefan Weitz, who is shaping Microsoft's search engine as it goes head to head with Google's, predicts search will disappear in the next few years.
Search engines will not cease to exist, but their tasks will become less and less visible and more and more intuitive, Weitz said.
"The future of search is that it won't be search anymore," Weitz explained during an interview with HuffPostTech. "The future of search is that the box you've come to know and love...won't be the constraining factor. Literally everywhere you go, every device you have, everything you touch will conduct a search, whether you know it or not."
Weitz argued that within ten years, the search box will be "as antiquated as a rotary dial phone," while search will be the "invisible agent."
He described a future two to three years away in which a user could wear glasses equipped with vision recognition technology that display the profile of any person the user comes into contact with, calling up their conversation history and other personal--but private--information.
"Search will become more implicit and more contextual," Weitz said. "It will be happening all the time on your behalf...There is this ability for us to...stop thinking about the web as a collection of pages, which is how it was designed initially, and think about the web more as a representation of the physical world in a digital format. "
Bing, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised for its scrappiness and inventiveness, has gained share in recent months, though Google, which claims over 54 percent of searches to Bing's 13 percent, remains far and away the market leader in the U.S.
Asked to forecast what the next big idea will be, Weitz said he envisions self-assembling machines catalyzing major societal changes.
He described a kidney-printing machine Dr. Anthony Atala demonstrated at the 2011 TED conference as "one of the most stunning things I've ever seen in my life," noting that self-assembling machines offer the potential to "remove a lot of constraints we have in society around scarcity."
See HuffPostTech's interview with Weitz below, and check back for more videos from the discussion.
Video by HuffPost's Hunter Stuart
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