Google will use Zagat’s (so you don’t have to)
Google has no reservations about baking Zagat’s right into its artificial intelligence search engine of tomorrow
Computerworld – Google bought Zagat Survey this week for an unknown amount between $50 million and $200 million. Zagat specializes in ratings for restaurants, hotels and travel destinations informed by the input of some 350,000 contributors 70-640 Training .
Say you’re on a business trip, and you’re walking down the street at noon.
Twenty years ago, you might have simply looked around for a place to eat lunch, or maybe stopped and asked someone. Today, you’ll probably fire up Yelp or Google Places on your smartphone and search for lunch spots that are the highest rated, as well as nearby. This is a big improvement, but it requires a lot of effort to scan the reviews and choose the best spot.
But within about five years, according to Schmidt, Google might initiate this search before you do. Your phone knows where you are, and Google is keeping track of you. It knows you’re in a city other than the one you live in, and can assume you don’t know where the good restaurants are. It knows what time it is, and can assume you’re ready for lunch.
Because you’ve checked into restaurants previously, and rated a few, it knows your preferences for food in terms of cost, style and convenience. It knows, for example, that you especially enjoy good Greek food. So Google’s search engine of the future might actually beep your phone and suggest a nearby restaurant: “Hungry? You’ll be happy to know that Evvia Estiatorio, a highly rated Greek restaurant, is just around the corner.”
Another scenario is a business dinner. If you use Google tools like Calendar and Contacts, Google knows who you’re meeting with and where each attendee is located, which could be enough information for Google Search to pick a restaurant based on the preferences of everybody attending, as well as a central location.
Google Search might alert you to your niece’s upcoming birthday in time to buy a gift, and suggest one based on your niece’s search history. It might suggest museums to visit, movies to watch, nightclubs to try — all based on matching your preferences with what’s nearby.
As with all Google services, the foundation of this “autonomous search” of tomorrow is data. Already, Google is gathering an enormous amount of data about you. And with your permission, they’ll continue to gather more. But Google needs to catch up on compiling useful data about the world.
And this is where the Zagat acquisition comes in. Zagat’s survey database will no doubt become part of Google’s “autonomous search” capabilities. Combined with Google Places data, the information will be referenced by Google’s search to match what you like with what’s available to you.
If you care about food, but don’t care about service or decor, for example, Google Search will take this knowledge into consideration when making restaurant recommendations.
We can also expect Google to acquire or develop the ability to find and make reservations for you, possibly by acquiring OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation service. Zagat has a partnership with OpenTable, which Google is reportedly interested in maintaining for now.
Google may also build, buy or partner for the ability to buy electronic movie, theater and sports tickets.
When Google puts all this together, your smartphone will function as a cross between a personal assistant and a concierge, constantly on the lookout for things that might interest you, suggesting them at just the right moment, booking them with your permission, and even paying for it all automatically Microsoft Free MCTS Training and MCTS Online Training.
Ironically, Google’s new search will make guide books like Zagat’s totally obsolete.
I, for one, welcome our new “autonomous search” overlords, and am glad that Zagat is going to be part of it.
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