Providing the information you didn’t know you wanted — Google CEO Eric Schmidt on newspapers, monetisation and the semantic web

Snippets from a Wall Street Journal interview with Schmidt:

Says Mr. Schmidt, a generation of powerful handheld devices is just around the corner that will be adept at surprising you with information that you didn’t know you wanted to know. “The thing that makes newspapers so fundamentally fascinating—that serendipity—can be calculated now. We can actually produce it electronically,” Mr. Schmidt says.[…]

On one thing, however, Google is willing to bet: “The only way the problem [of insufficient revenue for news gathering] is going to be solved is by increasing monetization, and the only way I know of to increase monetization is through targeted ads. That’s our business.”[…]

“As you go from the search box [to the next phase of Google], you really want to go from syntax to semantics, from what you typed to what you meant. And that’s basically the role of [Artificial Intelligence]. I think we will be the world leader in that for a long time.”

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The next big thing is not the semantic web – it's sensors and robots — edublogs

Ewan McIntosh on one prediction by Paul Saffo, who says we need to look two times the distance back to forecast the future:

"The next big thing is not the semantic web – it's sensors and robots
1950s TV – Broadcast
1980s Time-sharing – Email
1990s Cient sharing – WWW
2000 P2P – Napster
2010 Sensors – Smartifacts
The indicators are already in place, though I think we're probably missing it for the immediate ideas and opportunity that the web is offering in 2008.
We're moving from TV to the web, from the living room to everywhere, from watching and consuming to participating and creating, from few and large organisations to many and small individuals. […]
One forecast is looking a dead cert: the future's looking like one heck of a ride."

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