Answering machines

Google has been around for almost 25 years. That is an eternity when it comes to the digital world. And Google was not the first engine to go online: from AltaVista to Yahoo! to Lycos we had our fair share of search engines available to search the web. Right now, the search engine world is going through a weird phase. And that's because AI has descended upon us. Bing with GPT, Google with Bart, it seems like the AI revolution of search engines is inevitable.

But I'm wondering, at what point a search engine stops being that and becomes something else? If search engines become answering machines, what are we losing in the process? If sources are no longer relevant, if we no longer need to visit websites, what's gonna happen to the web? And what's gonna happen to us as web users?

Following a link on your search results page is an act of discovery. You'll land on a site you might have never seen before. You might discover and connect with other human beings and you might learn about things you never even knew existed before clicking on that link. But if you get your answer from an answering machine, your journey ends there. It's convenient, sure, but we might be losing something important in the process.

Where do you go from here?

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