In the internet’s infancy, before Google became synonymous with search engines, the options you had consisted of Yahoo, Alta Vista, Hot Bot,...
In the internet’s infancy, before Google became synonymous with search engines, the options you had consisted of Yahoo, Alta Vista, Hot Bot, Ask Jeeves and a few other options. Ask Jeeves was different from the others, given that it was marketed as being your personal Butler. Instead of typing complex syntax to search for stuff, you could use natural language to ask Jeeves a question the way you would ask a friend or knowledgeable neighbour, and in theory Jeeves would return relevant answers.
The concept was advanced, but too far ahead of its time. The technology wasn’t there yet. That meant the results from asking Jeeves often were on par with those you would get from Yahoo at the time, and like all search engines in the mid-1990s, proved to be frustrating, returning poor results.
The vision of Ask Jeeves was spot on though, and with the emergence of Chat GPT, it may be time to resurrect Jeeves. Unlike traditional search engines that rely on algorithms to generate results, Chat GPT feels like you’re chatting to someone real. It learns from what you’re asking and saying, returning real answers instead of just a list of webpages. Add a bit of a personality, an AI-generated voice, and a virtual model similar to a V-tuber, and you’ve got yourself a personal Butler. The technology is all aligned to fulfil the original promise, and I can’t wait to see it happen.