“While Yahoo! was once a major player in search – even as late as 3 years ago – they essentially outsourced their search know-how to Microsoft Bing in a deal that former CEO Carol Bartz signed with Steve Ballmer 3 years ago,” Eric Jackson writes for Forbes. “The deal hasn’t worked out for Yahoo! and it could be cancelled by [new CEO Marissa] Mayer as early as March.”

Jackson writes, “As we try and read the tea leaves to imagine what Mayer might do with search, I found this three year old post from Search Engine Land very interesting: Recently IDG News Service asked Google’s Marissa Mayer about the “perfect search engine.” Here was the question posed: “What is the perfect search engine? If you had a magic wand and could create it, what would it look like? What would it do?”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer<br>(photo by Brigitte Lacombe)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
(photo by Brigitte Lacombe)

Mayer replied: “It would be a machine that could answer that question, really. It would be one that could understand speech, questions, phrases, what entities you’re talking about, concepts. It would be able to search all of the world’s information, [find] different ideas and concepts, and bring them back to you in a presentation that was really informative and coherent.”

What Mayer may have unknowingly described is Siri, a “virtual personal assistant” that uses artificial intelligence to determine user intent and then match data or applications that can fulfill that intent. The company will launch its iPhone application soon and already has a deal with a “tier one” US mobile carrier.

Jackson writes, “Apple bought Siri 5 months after this post appeared.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Give us any excuse to use that photo and we’re taking it!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer chooses Apple iPhones over Android phones for all 10,000+ employees – August 21, 2012
5 things Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer can learn from Steve Jobs – July 20, 2012
Marissa Mayer to get close to $60 million (and maybe more) as Yahoo CEO – July 19, 2012
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was secret iPhone user at Google – July 18, 2012
Marissa Mayer leaves Google to become Yahoo CEO – July 16, 2012