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  • Humans are creating enough data to fill 100 billion iPads (32 GB) every year. This means there's an overwhelming amount of information out there, and we're increasingly dependent on advances in search technologies to find what we seek. While the book Search: How the Data Explosion Makes Us Smarter (Bibliomotion/available now) explores these advances, it also lends insights into more profound, near-future developments within search tech: the availability of tools that will deliver and manage information to make us smarter, happier and better connected. In one section, author Stefan Weitz casts an informed vision of the many ways these developments can influence our day-to-day personal and professional lives: how machines and people will interact to create incredibly sophisticated, fully customized user experiences that will routinely change according to our behaviors. The following "what's ahead" list of anticipated benefits from the next generation of search tools is adapted from the book, along with the challenges that must be addressed to reach this state of immensely intuitive search capability. Weitz is a senior director in the Search team at Microsoft.