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With the flick of the AI wrist, Google upends an industry

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know how laudatory we’ve been toward Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) efforts, and with good reason. Good reason because Google has taken initiative and jumped out to the vanguard on so many AI fronts; also with good reason because Google should be taking the initiative given their data dominance: Google has access to a veritable treasure trove of consumer and personal data through its myriad products (Gmail, Maps, Search, Youtube, etc.) people rely on every day. With that much data to mine, Google ought to be leading the way on neural networks and machine learning because in a lot of ways, they have access to the most data and the most relevant data.

That said, those advances don’t come easy. Google decided to build an entire chip architecture custom-made for deep learning and building neural networks. Without heavy capital investments in research and development, hardware, fabrication labs, etc., none of the things Google is trying to do would be possible. But, as the company gets more and more adept at harnessing the AI forces newly at its disposal, the markets facing disruption could multiply tenfold.

For example:

Google just launched a new feature that could very easily change the way you and everyone you know job hunts. It’s common knowledge these days that short of knowing someone within the company you want to work for or being related to the boss, the best way to search for jobs is online. But, there are a ton of resources you have to search to canvas everything within your industry — Indeed, Linkedin, Monster, CareerBuilder, GlassDoor, you name it. You probably know the type of job you want, the industry it’s in as well as the city you want to live in, so why isn’t there one data service that can compile all those job boards into one resource?

Well, thanks to Google and its AI, there is one now.

In a post announcing some new features coming to Google through AI, the company showed us the new Google jobs board. In the search bar, if you type in “Digital marketing jobs near me”, you’ll get something like this:

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.02.07 AM

The first thing that comes up from the search behemoth is a new job board showing you some top matches to your search criteria. At the bottom of that preview, there’s an arrow with a prompt “100+ more job” for you to follow. If you choose to do so, you’ll get a much more advanced search feature that looks like this:

Google Job Board.001

You can choose the categories you want to search in, the industries you want to confine the postings to, the specific parameters you want, everything. And instead of relying only on one digital job network at a time, you have access to all of them, more or less. By tapping into the work Google has done elsewhere with AI, they’ve enabled the company to make one of our most stressful ordeals that much more approachable.

Search is such an integrated part of our lives that Google can simply layer new function and new feature after new function and feature into it until Search becomes a silver bullet of information processing. One of the problems with Google search has always been its breadth — it has the most robust search engine, but that vast cadre of information can be overwhelming when you want something very specific or intuitive; you end up sifting through tons of search results to try and get to what you want or need. But, as Google’s AI gets better and better, search will become that much more useful, that much faster, and that much more intuitive for every user — from PhD computer scientists down to your luddite great grandparent.

Google already did something similar with Google Flights, organizing all the readily available digital information into an easy-to-use interface, and that’s already grown into a multi-billion-dollar business for Alphabet. There’s no doubt the job search industry could be ripe for a Google-fueled disruption. That’s the power of AI — correctly and adeptly point it at lots of relevant data and you can make information usable, identifiable, actionable and easy to find and comprehend. As more and more companies embrace AI and ride this wave of the future, our personal lives can be that much smoother.


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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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