Going Beyond Search
Search, Search, Search, that's all that people are talking about today.
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are competing with each other to try to be
the number one search engine. Why? Because the number one search engine
gets huge amounts of traffic and traffic equals revenue. Whether it is
from ads or from services they can market, search engines stand much to
gain from 'being number one'.
But do the search engines as they stand today fit the demands and
requirements of the next generation of internet users?
As the internet grows and the amount of information on it becomes so
immense that for every simple search you get thousands of results, the
efficiency of the search engine goes down. The search algorithms spend
most of their time and computational resources trying to eliminate spam.
As a result they can barely keep up with the load of information, let
alone sort it in an efficient and intelligent way. So what happens to us,
the end user, is that we don't get what we are really looking for. Now it
takes longer to search through the search results than it takes to
actually read the information being searched for.
Search engines must migrate to more intelligent ways of sorting data and
handling search queries in order to keep up with the new generation of
internet users, who are already finding alternatives to search because of
lack of satisfaction. Blog communities, forums and other alternatives to
search engines are becoming more and more popular these days, mainly
because the search engines aren't as good as they should be and it is
hard to find information searching on them.
An understanding of the information written on the web page and the query
typed into the search box would help the search engines better themselves
in every aspect of the process. The understanding of the information on
the web page will enable the search algorithm to sort the page
appropriately. Understanding the query can help the search engine supply
more accurate results to the user being that the search engine knows what
the user is looking for, not only the words the user entered in the
query. An added bonus the search engine would get from understanding the
query is that the ad engine can put more relevant ads on the page and
hence greatly increase the advertising revenue.
Even some of the most basic elements of understanding are lacking in
today's search algorithms. None of the search engines on the web today
can resolve even the most basic ambiguity or understand other basic
language elements like negation (not, besides, without etc..). Breaking
the sentence down to its basic meaning would allow the algorithm to
handle negation, and even more difficult tasks such as understanding a
question placed in the search box.
For example, if a user searches for this: "I really need a cheap car that
gives good gas mileage" an intelligent, understanding robot would be able
to understand that the user is not looking for the words that describe
the query, and only search for "cheap car, good gas mileage" and omit the
words "I really need a" and "that gives" from the search query. Not only
that, if the search engine is intelligent and has a knowledge base behind
it, it will be able to know which cars are cheap and give good gas
mileage and return those results, not limiting the results to the pages
containing the words "cheap car, good gas mileage".
Most of the technologies needed to enable the above mentioned features
have been around for a long time, but have not come to good use due to
the lack of a strong syntactic engine. Linguistic Agents Ltd (LA), in
Jerusalem Israel has developed such an engine that can enable all of
these features plus many more. The technologies LA has created break the
sentence down into a basic predicate/argument structure allowing the
computer to extract the meaning of the sentence from the resulting
output. These technologies use the latest advancements in theoretical
linguistics and breaks the sentence down to its basic meaning almost in
the same way that the brain breaks down the meaning of a sentence. This
advanced level of understanding allows for extremely intelligent
computation including, but not limited to, the intelligent search
examples listed above.
Imagine a new age of computation where computers understand what they are
told. All of this is made possible by LA's advanced algorithms. Not only
are these algorithms extremely advanced, they are also very light weight.
The entire Intelligence Engine is so small it can be imbedded in client
side Flash movies or even in AJAX applications. This would allow the
search engines to parse the query and extract the core meaning and only
then transmit the query to the server, saving valuable resources.
Things are going to change as we move to more intelligent applications
and "Go Beyond Search".