In the past, Google searches were done using key words. If you were to search for Barak Obama, for example, you would key in perhaps “president” and “US.” The problem in that you’d get the names of all the presidents through the years. So you could key perhaps the word “present” as well or “2015.” We’re all familiar with this process of keying in the right words in Google Search to get the information we want.
Now, Google has let out the news that we can now do searches using complex questions. In their blogpost, Google announced:
“We can now break down a query to understand the semantics of each piece.”
Rather than take each word or phrase at a time, Google is learning to actually understand the whole thought behind our questions. So, we can now simply ask “Who is the present president of the US?”
“So now we can get at the intent behind the entire question. That lets us traverse the Knowledge Graph much more reliably to find the right facts and compose a useful answer. And we can build on this base to answer harder questions,” Google’s blog post adds further.
The Knowledge Graph was introduced in 2012, providing information on brands, countries and public figures.
But now Google is trying to give answers to questions as they are said in actual conversation. It can now handle superlatives, time-based questions and even more complex combinations of these questions. So it’s now possible to ask questions like “Who is the youngest member of the Beatles?” or “Who won the Oscar for best actress award in the 2014?”
A more complex question would combine different information like “Who was the Director-General of the United Nations during the Vietnam War?”
Google, however, admits to committing some errors in their new system. “We’re still growing and learning, which means we make mistakes,” Google said. So if we should ask,” Who was Dakota Johnson’s mom in the movie?” It’s likely we’d get “movies of Dakota Johnson’s real-life mother Melanie Griffith, not the actor Jennifer Ehle who played Anastasia’s mother Carla in the 50 Shades of Grey movie.”
Google knows that improving their search engine will help them gain even more users. Today, the trend is moving toward the use of the mobile phone as the main computer. And being an integral part of Android, Google will have a definite edge over other systems.