11 February 2013

Africa: Google Gets Smarter With Knowledge Graph

Kampala — Imagine a situation where your computer gets to understand your lifestyle to the extent that when you search for information over the internet, it filters it and gives you information specific to your needs.

Sounds farfetched but that is what internet search giant Google is doing with the introduction of the Google Knowledge Graph.

The knowledge graph is made up of a database of over 500 million real-world people, places and things as well as 3.5 billion defining attributes and connections which aims to understand people's search queries and provide some added information in a box on the right hand side of the search results page.

The graph works in such a way that it monitors the content that one is interested in and automatically displays one's search results based on one's interests as reflected by that person's search history.

Mr. Ham Namakajjo, the Google Uganda Country Manager while speaking to the press recently said that the perfect search engine should be able to understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want.

He added that with the Knowledge Graph project, experts have started teaching Google Search what real-world things are; everything from roller coasters, to famous artists, to water bodies and how they're all connected.

"But in the future we want to offer a computer that works just like the one in Star Trek (The movie) - it should be smart enough to tell you for instance; 'You're going to London tomorrow, the weather is rainy, bring an umbrella.' Or 'Here's an article about your favourite football player that you didn't know about.' Imagine actually having an intelligent conversation with your computer. That is where we are headed," Namakajjo said.

He however says that for that to happen, Google needs to get smarter. It needs to "think" more along the wavelength of people. "And that's what we're trying to build," he confidently said.

Amit Singhal, Google's search chief has described the addition of the knowledge graph as a "quantum leap" towards search connecting to real life requests and moving away from key words.

Today the Internet has become a vital tool in every aspect of life and the Google Knowledge Graph project is a step in the right direction in as far as making knowledge accessible is concerned.

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