Are search engines considered AI because of the way they analyze what you search for and remember it? Or how they send you ads of what you've searched for recently?

Is this considered AI or just smart?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The question presumes that the reason for a search engine being considered AI would be because it analyzes and remembers searches. For example, asking whether a checkers program is an AI would depend first on whether it simply evaluated every possible move and calculated the best one based on the chances of winning (not an AI), or whether it non-deterministically builds a predictive model of its opponent's strategy (might be an AI). Either way it's more a question of how it achieves it than what it achieves. $\endgroup$
    – dynrepsys
    Aug 2, 2016 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


I believe it would be more accurate to say that (some) search engines use AI. Broadly saying "search engines are AI" is not really correct. At the core, most search engines are nothing more than an inverted text index using something like tf–idf scoring. That's a very mechanical/simple thing that nobody would really call AI.

But more sophisticated search engines may use AI or AI techniques to do things like semantic analysis - so they can actually "answer questions" instead of just looking up words in an index.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .