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Google Introduces "Best Guess"

How IBM Watson Has Influenced Google

Try searching for “The capital of Oman”. What do you expect to see? Couple of sponsored link followed by ten resultant pages – right?

Wrong. You will see the following.

When did Google introduce this feature? It was done quietly. There is a news item on 23rd March, 2011 in Realwebseo talking about this feature.

When did IBM Watson win Jeopardy! – 16 February, 2011.

Do you see the connection?

In the post How intelligent are the Computers of 2011 I had asked the question “Why has Google not attempted something like this?” Now we know that the option (2) to be right answer.

This feature is still at its infancy. For example (as on 11th June, 2011) if you type in “what is the capital of India” you get the right answer. However, if you search for “The Capital of India is” you don’t get the best guess.

On the other hand if you search for “The Capital of Canada is”, you still get the correct best guess.

Here are some more results of my fiddling with this feature:

Search Term Best Guess
What is the release date of harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Release Date is July 15, 2011
what is the release date of harry potter and the deathly hallows Best guess for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Date is November 19, 2010
who is the winner of 2011 French open tennis (no best guess)
where will the 2012 Olympic games be held (no best guess)
who is the president of USA Barack Obama
who is the president of India (no best guess)
who is the prime minister of India Manmohan Singh
who is the prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz
who is the prime minister of UK (no best guess)
who is the prime minister of united kingdom David Cameron

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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