How Google improves its search engine with AI

On October 15, 2020, Google announced new features for search. These bring artificial intelligence to the benefit of the search engine.

One of the biggest challenges with Google search is highlighting the most relevant pages of a query. Several elements can interfere with a search. It can be too precise or, on the contrary, too large, or even contain typographical errors. According to Google, every tenth search is misspelled. Because of this, the new algorithm better manages typing errors during a search. The “Results for … / Try your spelling …” automatic correction feature has been improved by adding 680 million new parameters to the algorithm.

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Image with improved understanding of typing errors in the Google search engine. Screenshot: Google / YouTube

For a specific query, Google will now suggest a paragraph or a few sentences on a page rather than the entire page. According to a Google estimate, this will improve an average of 7% of query responses.

For questions in the broader sense, Google trains its artificial intelligence (AI) to better grasp the nuances and highlight subcategories. When searching for “home exercise equipment”, one of the sub-categories is low-cost, high-quality equipment.

Photo, video, audio: the search is not limited to text

The Google Lens functionality is improved. Thanks to a photo, you can translate a text or list all the objects that are similar to the one photographed. The tool can now identify a math, physical, chemical, or biological formula and provide videos or step-by-step instructions on how to solve it.

Show how to use Google Lens to solve a math problem. Screenshot: Google / YouTube

For online sale, similar items can be highlighted by long pressing the image. In addition, augmented reality is invited on the shopping tab where it is now possible, for example in the case of a car, to see in augmented reality how it is being rendered in a certain room.

On the video side, the owner of YouTube has improved its voice recognition system to identify the various key moments in a video. Specifically, this improvement mainly benefits videos that don’t have a tag to identify them.

Finally, Google made a tool that allows you to find a song by simply humming it. It remains to be seen if it works for people who sing out of tune!

Make massive searches easier

The search engine becomes more visual with the knowledge diagram, which literally means: the knowledge diagram. The knowledge diagram is automatically activated during a search and shows a statistical visualization. In particular, Google worked with the World Bank to develop it.

In an effort to provide an immediate answer, Google’s journalists’ studio launches the Pinpoint tool, which lists the most frequently mentioned people, organizations, places, etc. from thousands of documents.

In Google Maps, the names of companies and their opening times are now shown in the street view. Another innovation in GPS is real-time information on the presence of a location. This characteristic takes on its full meaning in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finally, Google announced that the BERT released last year will now be used in most English queries. It is now developed in several languages ​​including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, German, and Amharic.

The “Search for 2020” takes place in a context in which Google is affected by antitrust investigations into anti-competitive practices. And perhaps in order to soothe this climate, when introducing “Search On 2020”, Prabhakar Raghavan insisted on the fairness of Google referencing in search queries as well as on the desire of the group to achieve the maximum in the direction of Open Access and on his determination to improve security, as has already been done with private surfing.

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