tedster - 1:14 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
Does anyone still ask the other questions? What does the search engine do for them?
That's probably TBD, lucy - but I can imagine that the idea of Google serving up the one LINK to answer the query might be in the running at first (possibly with a "More" button".)
Of course, we're just blue-skying things here - and extrapolating our guesswork founded only on a very general set of conference comments.
The bypassing of current economic reality is only a part of it. While it seems certain to me that the coming decades will see more big changes in how our global society defines and protects intellectual property, I can't see it disappearing altogether, at least for many generations.
The idea of knowledge itself (especially intensively curated information) somehow becoming "open source" just doesn't look currently practical - it's not anything like a nearby destination in my view. For the global culture ever to get to a place like that will take at least a few generations, not just a few years.
Nevertheless, I do see the general demand (or at least expectation) for getting "the answer" fast - so it doesn't surprise me that Google might try to meet that demand. One thing seems sure: things are going to get even more interesting over the next few years!