Google tackles more complex search questions

Posted on November 20, 2015

 

It’s common for people using short phrases to look for something on Google, but it’s been revealed that the search engine will soon be able to handle more sophisticated search terms.

Following on from the phasing in of Knowledge Graph three years ago, which generated info on public figures, countries and individual brands, the company has announced that it wants to understand the actual meaning of a question, rather than grasp what each word of a search term means on its own.

A blog post published by the company said:

“We can now break down a query to understand the semantics of each piece.

“So now we can get 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 has already made some gains in this field, and can answer questions like ‘who is One Direction’s tallest member?’ and ‘what song did the Sex Pistols release in 1977?’

The new technology was test driven by Wired, and it states that so far, the results are “hit and miss”. It returned a correct result when it was asked “who was the President during the second Gulf War?”, but struggled with questions related to the UK, such as “who was the UK Prime Minister when Blackburn Rovers won the FA Cup?”

Google put this down to launch bugs, and said that it will get better as time goes on.

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