The company put an artificial intelligence expert in charge of its search algorithms, a move that may ultimately give intelligent machines the job of finding and sorting information for humans.

The search company on Wednesday named John Giannandrea, an expert in machine learning, to run the engineering group that devises its ranking algorithms, the core technology for making sense of the deluge of information on the internet.

The rise of an AI expert points to a shift that could one day see much of the job of search ranking left to machines, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at the Local Search Association in the US.