Google Uses AI to Make Searches Smarter

September 27, 2010 at 6:09 am 2 comments

We are all well aware of the success and future potential that Google has achieved over the last decade.  More and more, Google is starting to appear to be one of those companies that our children will be familiar with and, who knows, maybe our children’s children as well?  Aside from redefining how you search for the address of your favorite Thai restaurant, or how people now interact with smartphones through the Google operating system Android, Google has worked on many projects to help bring fun and convenience to our lives.

So what’s the next step for Google?  Well, did you know that last year alone Google spent $2.84 billion in research and development in Artificial Intelligence?  Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google and former developer for NASA helped develop software that temporarily controlled NASA’s Deep Space 1 spacecraft without any human input more than 60 million miles away from earth.  Now he brings his focus much closer to home, researching AI to benefit us through our own personal computers and mobile devices.

“Imagine a very near future when you don’t forget anything because the computer remembers.  You are never lost.  You are never lonely,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at a conference earlier this month.  Obviously Google knows that this is something worth diving into, knowing that their research could potentially affect their revenue stream, which last year hit $23.7 billion.

A prime example you may have noticed is the release of Google Instant earlier this month.  Now after you have completed a search in Google, and you start typing in the search box, the search results will automatically display as you are typing saving a user two to five seconds per search, according to the company.

Speech recognition is another AI application propelling Google forward in research.  In the US, 1 in 4 searches on an Android phone are conducted via voice.  Eventually, Peter Norvig dreams for a phone to always be on, constantly absorbing a users surroundings from text input, sounds sentences it picks up, and settings it sees to generate useful information.  Later this year, Conversation Mode will be revealed for its Translation software.  It can make translations at the press of a button during a conversation between a tourist and a store clerk and respond out loud with the translation.  Though pleased with the progression, Norvig hopes one day for the entire event to be fully automated, but with limitations such as battery life, it’s difficult to keep a phone working full time.

It’s a start, and a cool one at that.  Imagine going to Paris not speaking a lick of French, but having your nifty Android phone to order the delicious Escargot for you with just the press of a button, with hopes that in the future, it can do it all on its own.

Thanks for reading all.  For more info here’s the link to the original article and don’t forget the quiz!

Mike

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laura  |  September 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Admittedly, the technology is really cool. That last bit about the translator app was especially intriguing to me, because I love traveling all around the world and I don’t think I have time to learn every language that’s out there. Nevertheless…

    Maybe it’s just the Doctor Who fan in me, but some lines in this scared the hell out of me.

    “Imagine a very near future when you don’t forget anything because the computer remembers. You are never lost. You are never lonely.”

    “Eventually, Peter Norvig dreams for a phone to always be on, constantly absorbing a users surroundings from text input, sounds sentences it picks up, and settings it sees to generate useful information…”

    That creeps me out. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just getting too much of a Big Brother vibe from it.

    Reply
  • 2. Mike R  |  September 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Hahaha, yeah I can definitely agree with you on the Big Brother aspect. We can hope that it doesn’t come to that. I too travel a lot and was pretty impressed with his vision to have the phone always on waiting to pick up vocal input.

    But then again, who’s to stop someone maybe on the back end of things from picking up personal information? They got some work to do. Thanks for the comment!

    Reply

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