Ray Kurzweil, a smart guy who talks a lot about what may (or may not) happen in the future, suggests that human beings will develop computerized personal assistants that will be able to read hundreds of millions of web pages in just a few seconds.
Unanswered by Mr. Kurzweil are these questions:
1) What will the assistant do after that? Not just in terms of what will it do with the data, but in terms of what will the human beings using it then use it for once its glommed up the hundreds of millions of web pages. Web pages are created at a pretty fair clip, but if you're downing them hundreds of millions at a gulp, you're likely to stay ahead of the curve. Not to mention that there are any number of web pages -- present company excluded -- that don't exactly add to your knowledge if you process what's on them.
2) Why the heck would you want it to do that?
3) Why do you want to waste time slurping up web pages with a computerized digital assistant when it can create a suit of powered armor that lets you fly around the world and fight crime?
Mr. Kurzweil may need to put this one back in the oven for a bit.