Google Calculator: Sign Of Things to Come?

Russel Beattie points to the emergence of ubiquitous search and asks if it’s a trend towards the AI dream of asking the computer any question you like. It’s a powerful idea and it would seem to be the way google has generally been heading … for instance:

I guess Ask Jeeves also had this idea, but never (yet) really carried it out. Given enough computational power, there is a lot more search engines could do to interpret what sort of information is being sought. An IT Conversations podcast a couple of months ago had the founder of Snap explaining how you could search for a product like “Digital Camera” and receive a table comparing product specs.