Monday, May 12, 2008

Google Killer?

The utility of Google's technology has been proven again and again. Basically a giant data warehouse, Google's competitive edge is its ability to associate all of the searches people do and specifically target these results for someone who then uses Google. It's a marketers dream, and as such, Google has successfully monetized this technology to generate ad revenue to target adds to the searches people do.

However, just like Jack Nickalaus replaced Arnold Palmer, there is an up and coming young golfer who will one day break Tiger's records (no it's not Michelle Wie.) There is a search engine getting a lot of hype in the technosphere out there called "Powerset." Its supposed advantage over Google is that allows you to enter phrases that have meaning vs. Google's keyword search...In other words, instead of searching for "Tiger Woods great golfer" and getting things about Tiger Woods, tigers, deciduous forests, and Ben Hogan, Powerset understands the phrase as one continuous entity, and then targets the search results approrpiately. As a side note, you can do this in Google, but it's manually intensive, in that you have to type in wildcards like "Tiger Woods a great golfer" but even then, the exact phrase has to be in the search, thus limiting your search results. The bottom line is that Powerset seeks to understand your search as language, not words. It's the evolutionary equivalent step to integrating the computer/human interaction seamlessly.

If you are still failing to see the connection as to why this technology could be so ground breaking, think about artificial intelligence. At Bucknell, I read papers on AI back in my cognitive psychology classes, which is the study of how our brains understand the world around us. Most of us think about robots when thinking about artificial intelligence (and some think about the WMDs that were supposedly in Iraq...or Allen Iverson, we talking about 'practice...Not a game....we talking about practice...!) Artificial intelligence is something we all know what it is or looks like, but it is unbelievably difficult to put into practice. Well this could be the first step.

I'm still on the fence, but click on the links below or watch the short video to be your own judge. It's coming, robots that understand relational tasks and computers who can recognize emotion based upon what we say and do. It's fascinating stuff.

Link to Official Site

Powerset Demo Video from officialpowerset on Vimeo