A new way to receive information is on the horizon, and it’s pretty cool!

When you type a query into Qwiki don’t expect a list of results to choose from. In fact, once you’ve pressed the search button all you have to do is sit back and watch and listen. Qwiki is a new way to receive information; rather than being bombarded by pages and pages of results a computer gets relavent information and then reads it to you as you watch a slide show. Learn about cheetahs, The Beach Boys, or the iPad. These (and more) are created completely automatically.

Qwiki photo.

Now, Qwiki is still in alpha release and it is still rocky, but I would say that it is an excellent start. What does it mean? Well, I’m no fortune teller, but I’m guessing that we’ll be asking our computers:

And the computer will tell us with words and pictures.

So you may be wondering, like I did, whether Google is interested in this technology. Is Google going to buy Qwiki? Will Qwiki replace Google? Well, I’m sure that Google is interested (it does fit in with their “organize the information of the world” moto, but I don’t think that they’ll be aquiring Qwiki, since it is funded by Eduardo Saverin, a Facebook cofounder. But that doesn’t mean that Google won’t build their own Gwiki. As for replacing Google, I don’t think so, though at first I though so. The reason why is because the questions above are simple, they have well defined answers. They can’t tell you:

  • What is the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? (though they can tell you what a dolphin is and a porpoise is)
  • I have gnats all over in my house and I have no idea where they're coming from, what should I do? (ammonia on the window sill)
  • Where is the best place for me to apply to graduate school? (err... I'll get back to you on that one)

These question are more complex (they also happen to be questions I’ve asked recently) there’s no real formula to define the difference between two things, or a posible solution to a problem or corse of action. Really, Qwiki seems to be targeting wikipedia more than Google; wikipedia defines information, Google helps you find it. If I were to guess though, I’d guess that Google will release something like this in a few years, it seems to be right up Google’s alley. I’m sure we’ll see other copycats as well.

What are you’re predictions for Qwiki? Is this a service you would use? What would you like to ask?