Original article was published by Smarthinkers Hub on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Meet the New, Smarter Google
You might think of Google as a search-first company. The first product that Google provided was a search engine and this is still what most of us associate with the company.
Traditionally, Google’s search engine did not work much like an AI. Rather, search worked by attempting to match search terms with the content in an article.
This is why the advice for SEOs was to insert lots of key phrases into their articles, so that Google’s spiders could read that content and quickly identify that it would be a good match for what the person was searching for. As we all know, this didn’t work out perfectly for Google.
Lots of unscrupulous “marketers” abused the system by inserted hundreds of search terms into every article, which in turn meant the content Google would show to the user would be garbled and unreadable. That’s why, over time, Google has begun to work more and more like an AI.
Now, Google no longer attempts to look for exact keyword matches. Instead, Google tries to answer questions that you ask it. It does this by trying to under- stand what the user is looking for along with the context, and then to provide relevant answers through its search.
Google is able to do this through machine learning. Specifically, it uses a form of natural language processing, which Google refers to as RankBrain.
RankBrain is at least partly responsible for helping Google to cope with phrases and words that it hasn’t seen before.
If RankBrain identifies a word it isn’t familiar with, then it can “guess” what it might mean based on context and based on its usage elsewhere.
This helps Google to deal with unusual searches that it hasn’t seen before, without simply matching search terms to content Over the past few years, Google may have seemingly diversified.
It now makes smartphones, it now makes self-driving cars, and it now makes apps like Google Lens.
But at the heart of all of these initiatives is some form of AI or machine learning. Google Lens uses machine learning to identify objects in a scene and allow users to that way “search” the real world around them. Self-driving cars of course are highly reliant of various forms of AI.