Google Search is already pretty impressive on its own and this can be gauged by performance metrics and market share. The company is working to make search an all encompassing product which can be your window to all the information. The Google search until the launch of Knowledge graph was intelligent but not intelligent enough to make sense of all the keywords you threw at it. Knowledge graph attempts to change that. Google is building a system which understands words and their context for everyday scenarios. This is basically a very intelligent system and a big step ahead in machine learning.
Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search has written in an official blogpost about the rolling out of Knowledge Graph worldwide. Besides Knowledge Graph, Singhal also writes about the new gmail search trial feature and intent analysing voice search on mobile.
The Knowledge graph is just way too cool. It understands your keywords and matches them to the people, places and things. Singhal says that currently, the knowledge graph has 500 million real-world people, places and things with 3.5 billion attributes in their database. This is not a small feat. I was really excited when they launched this some months back but it was only available in the US. Now it is available for everyone. Here’s what it does:
This is now available on mobile too!
Another great feature is the understanding it displays to a questions like ‘List of things to do in…’ The feature is best explained in the video below.
I tried these search terms in Google but they did not yield the knowledge graph results so I am assuming that this feature is US only.
The search dropdown also suggests different meanings associated with the same terms, some thing like the disambiguation list in Wikipedia. This helps you to get right down to meaning of the word that you are looking for which makes searching even faster.
Searching with the help of Gmail:
Google is looking at a deep integration of its popular products with its core product, search. The integration roadmap seemed obvious to me when they launched Google+, a social layer which would bring all of Google’s products together. However, it is not just Google+ which is going to do that. Google Search will now be deeply embedded in other products like Gmail, Drive and other products. Right now however, the integration with Gmail is a trial which you can sign up for.
What it does is that whenever you search something on Google, it picks up results from your previous emails which relate to it. This is useful if you have forgotten about the thing that you are searching for. Singhal says that ‘sometimes the best answer is not available on the public web’, well, I don’t think so but even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, you will realise that the use-case for this feature is pretty limited. But there are some interesting additions to this. Take a look at this picture which Amit shares.
It depicts a specialised search term for something like your flights and the integrated search arranges all your flight information it can glean from airline confirmation e-mails and arranges them in neat and readable way. This is superb stuff and I can’t wait to check this out for other things like payments and stuff (provided it is secure).
Google Search + Voice:
Voice Search was available in Android since 2.2 even before Siri came out but Siri is interactive and speaks back. You can now do the same thing on Google search on your smartphone. It will understand the context of your search and display the necessary results. This works in combination with updated speech recognition, language semantics and Knowledge Graph. This feature is already available for Android and will be landing for iOS pretty soon. The feature is very similar to Siri and I don’t know how it will fare against it but we will have to wait and see. If this video below is to be believed then it seems to be pretty awesome.
Things like Knowledge Graph, Leap Motion (check this out!) and Voice Control are changing the way we interact with our machines. The future is going to be pretty exciting.
What do you think of these new developments? Tell us in the comments.