New Ways of Accessing Information: Exploring Google’s Past and Future

Today marks a significant day in the history of the internet – Google’s 25th birthday. It’s hard to imagine a time when we couldn’t rely on the search engine to find information at our fingertips. But what exactly led Google to revolutionize how we access information, and what role will artificial intelligence (AI) play in its future?

In the 1950s, public libraries served as community hubs, providing open access to information. Librarians were the “human search engines,” helping people find information quickly and accurately. However, it required significant effort and time to answer queries. In the 1990s, libraries expanded to include online access, but it was costly and complex. Commercial search services like Dialog and FT PROFILE emerged, but accessing information came at a high price.

Then came Google. In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin harnessed the power of the World Wide Web and developed Google’s iconic architecture. With its simplicity and innovative algorithms like PageRank and anchor text, Google quickly became the most popular search engine, leaving competitors behind.

But as the web expanded, access costs continued to be an issue. While consumers could search on Google for free, certain articles and books required payment. Libraries, on the other hand, struggled to provide free access to materials due to rising costs.

Looking ahead, Google has evolved beyond just search. With AI tools like Bard and Gemini, Google aims to revolutionize search once again. Imagine quick information summaries at the top of search results, generated by AI algorithms. However, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and fact-check sources, as generative AI tools have faced criticism for misinformation.

While AI may revolutionize search, access to information could become restricted by commercial entities and paid subscriptions. The tension between public access and powerful commercial interests must be addressed as the AI industry grows.

As we celebrate Google’s 25th birthday, let’s reflect on how far we’ve come in accessing information and consider the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With AI at their disposal, search engines like Google have the power to shape the future of information access, but the importance of ensuring accuracy and maintaining open access remains as crucial as ever.


How did Google revolutionize access to information?

Google revolutionized access to information with its simplicity, innovative algorithms like PageRank, and efficient search results presentation. It quickly surpassed competitors and became the most popular search engine.

Will artificial intelligence (AI) make Google obsolete?

No, AI is expected to enhance Google’s capabilities. With AI tools like Bard and Gemini, Google aims to revolutionize search once again, providing more accurate and convenient information summaries.

What challenges may AI-powered search engines face?

One challenge is the risk of misinformation. Generative AI tools have been criticized for producing inaccurate or misleading information. It’s essential to remain vigilant and fact-check sources to combat this issue.

Will AI restrict access to information?

There is a concern that a shift towards commercial entities and paid subscriptions in the AI industry may restrict access to information. Balancing public access and commercial interests will be crucial as AI continues to evolve.