What was the question again? (Part 2)

Last weekend, there was an article that says researchers at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories “created a technology that could eventually display on a computer screen what people have on their minds”.  <http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081211/sc_afp/sciencejapanbrainoffbeat_081211052641>

So if our tall, blond, blue-eyed friend had walked through some fancy machine that scans what he had in his head, TNL would have known he wanted to use our stapler straightaway. What about search engines then?

There was this article on good old Google in our good old ST. Sorry no article link because you know how ST access is given now. So check out Grace Chng’s “Google re-tools to beat back competitors” in print.  <http://linc.nus.edu.sg/record=b1196337>

There is this thing called a contextual search and providing “relevant and presonalised answers” by looking at “user’s search patterns”. “Search engines will understand more about you as a user, your location, the language you speak and your preferences.”

But of course, “we’ll use the information only if users give us permission.”

So the next time I look for the nearest post office, I will be mighty glad that I will have an updated map, the bus numbers, the opening hours, landmarks. After all, I have been searching and googling quite a bit. My “user pattern” should be archived somewhere. I will be retrieving relevant and quality information.

So why do I see writing on the wall? And does it matter what it says?

  1. Like you, I also see the writing on the wall (it’s been there for some time now, and there’s still some revisions to the words!)

    Yes, it does matter.

    But I feel the words are not all bleak. I always feel that as quality and quantity of information improves, it also means the user has less time to absorb all that information. So to me, librarians will still be relevant but only if we value-add. From just mere pointers to being “consultants”.

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