Technology, Science, Language – And Google, Yees!
Has anyone tried to make a phonecall to one of those automatic machines that try to assist you in buying train tickets, for example? These friendly little voices do their best to please by repeating “I did not understand, please say again” and “You wanted to go to Brahmaputra via Leipzig on the 10th of november 2056. Is this correct?” When You tried to book a Train to the neighbour city for next tuesday (Which unless you live in some of Brahmaputra’s neighbouring cities, is completely wrong)
Now Google plans to teach the big computer park to understand content it has collected. Not only list keywords, but understand the semantics. This virtually means that it would have to understand human language. Probably different languages. If Google pulls this off it’s one big “Yay, hooray for technology, groovy!” But it also posts some serious questions like what types of information retreival should be automated, and who should be given access to this huge pile of information. It’s hard not to think about user tracking and surveillance and monitoring and all kinds of privacy concerns.
However, Google primarily wants to open Pandora’s box for human language comprehension by machines to make their search engine better. This of course is a good thing. They also want to include and activate the user in the search process, by enabling the searcher (me, you) to share searches with others (me, you). Let’s say I search for technology and behavioural Science Blogs, and I come up with this blog, Singularity and Beyond, (and like it naturally). Now, I might choose to share this search result with others and tell them this is a good find. Somehow this will be incorporated into the search system, some sort of “Look, Christina searched for the same thing as You and she really liked THIS page, check it out” . I assume
Great, fine, way to go Google. Isn’t it a marvellous company? No really, i mean it. It’s quite astonishingly clever. Peter Norvig is said to begin his CV with the line “Please do not offer me any new jobs, i have the greatest job in the world at the best company in the world” -And probably, I suspect, a pretty “best” paycheck to go with it… If google manages to solve the problem of understanding human language, then we really are getting in to a whole new level of Artificial intelligence…
-What? Who said “Pandora’s box”? Quiet in the classroom!
Anyway, as a Cognitive Science Educated Kind of a Guy with a General Interest for Anything Regarding our Mind or Intelligence, Especially when it has Technology in it (This is my professional title, I’m a CSEKoaGwaGIfARoMoIEwiTii) , I’m going to wish Google good luck with this challenge, and Google, if You’re reading this, I have great ideas, I work hard, and I’m looking for a job with a huge paycheck! I Wonder if the serverpark will carry out the job interview? Kinda like the poor guy who mistakedly was put in a TV studio, and he thought it was a job interview…. He wasn’t talking to a server park though, but just speaking of job interviews.
Anyhow. Go google!