Get in touch

shawn's email

Rethinking search with generative AI

The online search experience has been steadily eroded over the years, plagued by ads, SEO, and pseudo-content. Forward to today, where Microsoft, OpenAI, and Google are in a battle for dominance using large language models like ChatGPT and Bard. Unfortunately, the root problems plaguing search persist because none of them actually consider how humans learn and gather info. We have been developing an answer to this problem, and the myriad of other problems related to search as a stealth mode venture.

a photo of a desk in a cozy office with a laptop and the search app concept on screen

Search’s dominant player, Google, has been resting on an increasingly ad-ridden and SEO page rank model for far too long—and now sees the seas of disruption bubbling by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, fuelled by Microsoft's gargantuan investment. AI search (it seems) has arrived through the familiar modality of a chat window, however, in the rush to chatbot everything, the team and I believe a fundamental reality about how people find and explore information has been ignored. With this flaw in mind, we have been brewing an ambitious project that aims to transform the way people search.

Our approach for this project was like any other client engagement—by diving deep into customer and use case development, carefully examining search and information gathering behaviours, the search market ecosystem and infrastructure, and its related technical domains. This comprehensive analysis identified key interventions and opportunities, paving the way for a fresh and disruptive take on online search—and pinpointing areas where our product can make a massive impact for users.

In parallel, we‘ve been designing, experimenting, and building proof-of-concepts that demonstrate our unique take on search and information gathering activities. Our team has found a way to integrate generative AI that feels like part of a broader cohesive search experience, instead of something simply bolted on to legacy page-rank text-field.

a screenshot of the research canvas
application sketches
application sketches
a product flow diagram
a screenshot of the app exploration screens
screenshot of the application with a list of search results
screenshot of the application with search result preview
screenshot of the application as a canvas with results
screenshot of the application as a different concept with a search input box
screenshot of the application as a different concept with search results
No items found.

Our team is excited about the potential of this phase of machine intelligence, and the almost-daily groundbreaking announcements. Our goal is to someday reshape the world of online search and to push the boundaries of user interaction and information gathering, with a little help from generative AI.

As such, this project is currently in stealth mode as we continue to refine and develop the experience and underlying technology.


More Work