How Google and Microsoft taught search to "understand" the Web; Bing signs Encyclopaedia Britannica
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 10/06/2012 15:18
Despite the massive amounts of computing power dedicated by search engine companies to crawling and indexing trillions of documents on the Internet, search engines still can't do what nearly any human can: tell the difference between a star, a 1970s TV show, and a Turkish alternative rock band. That's because Web indexing has been based on the bare words found on webpages, not on what they mean.
Since the beginning, search engines have essentially matched strings of text, says Shashi Thakur, a technical lead for Google's search team. "When you try to match strings, you don't get a sense of what those strings mean. We should have a connection to real-world knowledge of things and their properties and connections to other things."
Bing signs Encyclopaedia Britannica for search results
Microsoft has signed a deal with Encyclopaedia Britannica to add entries from the reference work to Bing.
The tie-up means summaries of topics using data from the Encyclopaedia will be added to some search results.
The deal builds on Britannica's decision in March to stop producing a print edition.
Bing plugs Encyclopedia Britannica into its search results
In the quest for knowledge, Microsoft's Bing announced a partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica today. Now, alongside all other results -- like Wikipedia and Web pages -- users will see a box of information with an image linking to results from Britannica's online encyclopedia.
"A core focus for us here at Bing has been about delivering relevant information in a more organized way to help you find what you need more quickly and get stuff done," Bing's principal development lead Franco Salvetti wrote in a blog post. "We're very excited to collaborate with Encyclopedia Britannica as it continues to strengthen its online presence."