A Google logo is reflected on the screen of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. File picture: Reuters/David W Cerny
A Google logo is reflected on the screen of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. File picture: Reuters/David W Cerny

Google search is getting new AI tools

By Masabata Mkwananzi Time of article published Oct 17, 2020

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Johannesburg - Google has announced how it is applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to provide better search results for users in the coming weeks and months.

The company says it has been working on a new spell checking tool that promises to help identify the most poorly spelt questions. The new spelling algorithm will help Google better understand the context of misspelt words, and users will be able to find the right results, all in under 3 milliseconds.

“One in 10 queries every day are misspelt. Today, we’re introducing a new spelling algorithm that uses a deep neural net to significantly improve our ability to decipher misspellings,” said Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Search at Google.

Google says this change makes a greater improvement to spelling than all of its improvements over the last five years. Before introducing the spelling algorithm, the company tried to help with its ‘did you mean’ feature that suggests proper spellings.

According to Raghavan, 15 per cent of Google search queries each day are ones that Google has never seen before, meaning the company has to constantly work to improve its search results.

Google will also be using AI to divide broader searches into subtopics to help provide better results.

“We’ve recently made a breakthrough in ranking and we are now able to not just index web pages, but individual passages from the pages. By better understanding the relevancy of specific passages, not just the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you’re looking for,” said Raghavan.

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