Let’s be absolutely clear. They’ll be presenting a carefully-tailored PR play, and it won’t actually be true in the way it’ll be interpreted. But they’ll say it, or something like it, and people will lose their collective minds.
The statement in more detail will be something like:
Following the success of our machine-learning-based RankBrain experiments, we are rolling out more artificial intelligence into web search.
We have talked before about the large number of factors that have historically gone into determining which pages rank for specific queries. Anyone who has followed the history of Google knows that this has all been underpinned by the early breakthroughs in PageRank, which enabled us to use the hyperlink-based structure of the web to figure out which websites and pages were the right answers. This worked even for queries we had never seen before, and worked even better as the web scaled.