Giant leap for the search unknown – how close are the world’s web-trawlers are to a "Google-killer" breakthrough

You fancy Thai – but aren’t in your neighbourhood. So you get out your mobile and speak your request into the always-on search engine, which responds with the name of a restaurant your friends raved about last week, displays directions and a review, and also confirms that your preferred vegetarian options are available. Welcome to smarter search, perhaps just five years away. Dr David Hawking, science leader in information retrieval at CSIRO and chief scientist of enterprise search company Funnelback, says the future of search is all about personalised responses, tailored to your location, preferences, and social network.

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