When was the last time you looked something up in an encyclopedia?
It's probably been quite a while (if you're even old enough to have ever used one!). The reason is pretty obvious: We live our lives online, so flipping through a 1000+ pages is far from the fastest — or best — way to find information. Instead, we turn to a search engine, like Google, and simply ask a question.
The reason Google has become a daily (and in many cases, multi-daily) consumer motion is because it makes our lives easier. It takes our complex questions and meets them with direct, specific answers in the form of a rich snippet — saving you time, since you don't have to click through to and scroll a long document. In other words, it scans the encyclopedia and gives you page 976, paragraph 2, 3rd sentence — the exact answer to your question.
This is called Extractive Question Answering (or Extractive QA), and it's one of the most important — and magical — features of a modern search experience. It also happens to be the next big thing we're adding to our Answers Search Platform.