Google’s Talk to Books tool is a fun little way to do just that. It’s not a Google search for books, but it does offer more conversational answers for your questions than a traditional search.
Type a question into “Talk to Books,” and AI-powered tool will scan every sentence in 100,000 volumes in Google Books and generate a list of likely responses with the pertinent passage bolded.
It uses “semantic search,” drawing on the ability of the tool’s AI to understand natural human language. Results range from goofy to profound, but semantic search’s goal is to call up a sentence that sounds like a plausible retort a person might say in a conversation.
Talk to Books is best deployed as a book-discovery or inspiration-gathering tool. It could conceivably be useful for brainstorming new angles on a topic or used as a quick way get quotes from books. “It’s good for exploring ideas, it’s fun just to play with it,” legendary futurist Kurzweil says.