In a front-page article in The New York Times on Thursday, I wrote that web search is at its biggest crossroad since its invention, as users demand more from search and Google faces a broader array of rivals than ever. Google, in response, is widening the scope of its ambition to include things that today’s internet users might never even think to ask the search engine. Might Google someday help you, for instance, figure out how to get the $200 you need by next week, force your cat and your girlfriend’s dog to get along or tell you whether your husband is picking up the children from school?

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staff and wire services reports