Categories Tech News
The Ask Jeeves-ification of online search
May 12, 2023
There are some who will tell you that Ask Jeeves was right all along. I’m less sure that’s true. In fact, I am starting to think that if you are a technical person who is considering a startup, Google’s fascination with adding a slow and unreliable AI chat to its results is an opening for you to put a brick on the gas pedal and absolutely run Google over.
Ask Jeeves launched in 1997, and the idea was that you’d type a natural-language query into the box, and the valet would come back with an answer. (Jeeves is named for P.G. Wodehouse’s famous character, a near-omniscient man with a “feudal spirit.” Disclosure: my cat is also named for this character.) It was popular until Google Search entered the scene — an engine with a better ability…