Technology Review has a short interview with Google’s Peter Norvig, entitled The Future of Search in which they ask him about Google’s use of AI techniques.
TR: Your expertise is in artificial intelligence. Isn’t Google, at its core, an artificial-intelligence company using machine-learning algorithms to search the Web, recognize speech, and match advertising with keywords?
PN: I think a lot of AI is trying to do a better job on a task for which there’s no definite answer. What are the best results for a given search query? There is no absolutely correct answer, it’s subjective, and that’s the question that Google’s answering. So I think it’s fair to say that this is an AI problem. But the way we address that problem is with lots of different approaches. There’s an AI algorithm involved, there’s software engineering, hardware, and networking to make it fast and efficient. I wouldn’t want to say that AI is everything, but it’s a big part of it.
You can also listen to the interview as an m3 recording.