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Technology Google search gets smarter so queries don't have to

20:50  25 october  2019
20:50  25 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Google on Friday announced its "biggest leap forward" in years in its search algorithm, offering an unusually detailed public explanation of its secret formula.

a close up of a cat wearing glasses: Google has announced its © AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER Google has announced its "biggest leap forward" in years in its search algorithm.

The world's most popular internet search engine said its latest refinement uses machine learning to improve how it handles conversationally phrased English-language requests.

"We're making a significant improvement to how we understand queries, representing the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of search," Google search vice president Pandu Nayak said in an online post.

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The California-based internet company last year debuted a neural network-based technique for processing "natural language."

The company said the new effort is based on what it calls Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT), which seeks to understand query words in the context of sentences for insights, according to Nayak.

Google software, like humans, has to grapple with understanding what people are trying to say even though they might not be expressing themselves clearly, or even be making sense.

Some BERT models for figuring queries out are so complicated they need to be handled by high-powered computer processors specifically designed for the cloud, according to Google.

"By applying BERT models to both ranking and featured snippets in search, we're able to do a much better job helping you find useful information," Nayak said.

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"In fact, when it comes to ranking results, BERT will help search better understand one in 10 searches in the US in English."

He gave the example of Google software now understanding that the word "to" in a query such as "2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa" is about a Brazilian heading to the US and not the other way around.

"Previously, our algorithms wouldn't understand the importance of this connection, and we returned results about US citizens traveling to Brazil," Nayak said.

"With BERT, search is able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word 'to' actually matters a lot here, and we can provide a much more relevant result for this query."

Google planned to spread the improvement to more languages and locations "over time."

Google Search just got a major update, but you might not even notice it .
Google may be selling a lot of its own hardware nowadays, but its main moneymaker is Google Search. Even the hardware is practically an avenue that leads to Search, considering plenty of Google’s most recent products are home to an increasingly more sophisticated Google Assistant that also relies on Google’s search tech to answer queries. And while Google rarely speaks about its Search product, the company opened up on its most recent algorithm change that has the potential of significantly improving your search experience. However, you might not even notice the update, or just assume Google Search is supposed to work that way.

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