Monday, June 29, 2009
Recently I watched the above video where Steve Ballmer is explaining his view about the innovation in search.
Here is the transcript of the interesting part:
"The truth of the matter is: there s gonna be more innovation in search in the next 10 years than the last 10. It s still true today that the average search, at least in English, is 2.2 words cause we' ve all figured out that if you type more into a search engine, you get worse results. That s crazy. Search engine should be able to do better, if they understand more about what you mean, if they understand more about the semantics of the documents. The user interface in search hasn't changed in years. We're exploring some changes."
For the first time, I told myself that Ballmer was right.
He' s right on the 4 following points:
1- "Innovation in search"
2- "Paradox in search"
3- "Semantics in search"
4- "Interface in search"
1- is related to Singularity. According to the law of accelerating returns, there is paradigm shift every decade. In 1999, we got Google with PageRank. In 2009, we got Wolfram and Bing. But neither Wolfram nor Bing have induced any change. They still rely on the search bar paradigm (*). To me, the next paradigm will be either "Natural Language Processing" or a "Personal PageRank" (= a ranking algorithm that is not assessing the relevance of a given document against the majority of users but against a specific user profile.)
2- The more keywords you input, the more information you input, the more accurate the results should be. The main reason for that paradox, at least from my perspective, is that current search engines still use a Boolean way of handling the keywords. One consequence is that each keyword is regarded as a new condition. But in fact, users do not want necessarily to specify additional conditions.
3- Search engines should be able to understand the meaning of the user request instead of using keywords that can be ambiguous. That s why we get false positive matches if we are not cautious enough.
4- "Interface in search": Current search engines still use that narrow, flattened small window where users input ASCII keywords.
Nor 2-, nor 3-, neither 4- are solved by Bing.
Are they solved by Ascot Project? 3- is not, definitively. We do not deal with semantics at all. I think that the real solution will come with natural language understanding involved in natural language processing.
For 2-, we have a solution. For 4-, we do again :)
We are not pretending to have invented the next paradigm because we haven't. But we think we got something that represents an additional step towards the ability to process natural language processing. From now on, users will be able to input as many keywords as they want...
(*) The search bar paradigm is comprised of the AND/OR relations and the search bar itself.
Posted by uploada at 1:26 AM