Peter Norvig


Web Search as a Force for Good
38 minutes, 17.6mb, recorded 2004-11-07
Peter Norvig
Web search as a Force for Good? No, we are not talking about a new beta service from Google! Peter Norvig, Director of Search Quality and Research at Google, says that when web searches are not actually saving people's lives they are improving them by saving time! He talks about how the 4 billion web pages Google indexes can be harnessed to actually make a difference in the everyday lives of people around the world with the innovative new services that Google is coming up with, in his talk at the Accelerating Change 2004 conference.

Where's Google going next? Is it remaining just a search engine for text on the web? Why is it venturing into the banner ad space, where there are plenty of well entrenched companies? After information and product searches, what next? Searching for people?

How does Peter Norvig's solid background in Artificial Intelligence influence Google's search algorithms and its new services? How is Google managing to crack, in a seemingly easy way, the tough problems in linguistics and semantic understanding that researchers around the world are struggling to solve?

How will Google defend its key resource, the vast amounts of data it collects on a daily basis, when the accessibility to such vast storage is becoming easier? What made Yahoo's once vaunted search bite the dust? Peter Norvig answers all these questions and gives a unique view of what happens inside Google, including the tradition behind the curious holiday logos that Google uses.

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Peter Norvig is the Director of Search Quality and of Research at Google Inc. He is a Fellow and Councilor of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and co-author of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, the leading textbook in the field. Previously he was head of the Computational Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center, where he oversaw a staff of 200 scientists performing NASA's research and development in autonomy and robotics, automated software engineering and data analysis, neuro-engineering, collaborative systems research, and simulation-based decision-making. Before that he was Chief Scientist at Junglee, where he helped develop one of the first Internet comparison shopping service; Chief designer at Harlequin Inc; and Senior Scientist at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.


This program is from the Accelerating Change 2004 series.

For Team ITC:

  • Description editor: Arun Tanksali
  • Post-production audio engineer: Stuart Hunter

This free podcast is from our Accelerating Change series.