Google’s Knowledge Graph: Star Trek Leap or Facebook Challenge Fail?

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May 17 2012 4:39 PM

Google’s Knowledge Graph: Star Trek Leap or Facebook Challenge Fail?

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Google Knowledge Graph aims to use the knowledge of other users to give better search results.

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Google is again updating its ubiquitous and mysterious search engine with Knowledge Graph, which the company says will help provide more relevant results to users.

The new feature presents users with information on a subject other users have looked up after running a search—almost like the “people who bought this also bought” feature on Amazon. In other words, it helps you drill down on a subject by pointing toward information other users picked after their preliminary search.

Google’s engineers say Knowledge graph builds on the “collective intelligence” of the Web, and reportedly say it’s a first step toward a Star Trek caliber computer. But with challenger Bing also updating its “social search” capabilities by tapping into the vast data of Facebook, Google might be at a disadvantage. Everyone knows Google+ isn’t exactly growing at warp speed.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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