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Veteran Google employee and vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer managed to deliver a presentation on the future of search despite water coming in through the ceiling and a complete power failure half way through her session. Mayer, who has been with the company for eight years, recalled how, at the start of her career, it was possible to organise all the websites on the internet in hand-built lists.
Mayer explained that there was a place for both automated search and other techniques, such as using human intuition and knowledge to group and search for relevant content. "When the web is as large as it is today, I think the right answer is a blend of both [artificial and human search]; some elements of human intelligence [are] necessary — there is a lot of work being done around knowledge search in Asia."