Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Google can now understand and answer more complex questions

It's easy to be impressed by the things Google can answer us, but it doesn't take long to notice that its understanding is just skin deep. Now, Google dives a little deeper, and starts understanding more complex questions.

One of the things that bothers me most (though I understand the complexity of such a "simple thing") is that Google can answer things like "When was Obama born?" (1961) and "What was the population of USA in 1961?" (183 millions); but ask it "What was the population of the USA in the year Obama was born?" and all the magic comes crashing down, as it won't understand you. Or at least, it didn't.

Google has improved its search and can now understand this sort of complex questions. You can now ask him things likes "Who was the U.S. President when the Angels won the World Series?" or "What are some of Seth Gabel's father-in-law's movies". And even though it might not understand us every single time, it gets a lot closer to what we expect an artificial intelligence to understand.

Besides these compound questions, we also get a better handling of time-focused questions like "What songs U2 recorded in 2014?"; and superlative and ordered questions likes "What are the largest cities in Texas?" or "What are the tallest buildings in new york?"

... It's one more small step in the path that will take us to systems that will be able to understand and answer all our questions (even if it ends up being just 42. :)

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