Google Universal Search $25,000 query in Jeopardy

Google Universal Search $25,000 query in Jeopardy

Summary: Marissa Mayer's Universal Search assertions have a lot more riding on them now: $25,000!Is Google Universal Search in Jeopardy?

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TOPICS: Google
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Marissa Mayer's Universal Search assertions have a lot more riding on them now: $25,000!

Is Google Universal Search in Jeopardy?

"The best answer is still the best answer," Mayer confidently proclaimed upon unleashing Universal Search to the world just two weeks ago. While Mayer always says the right Googley things, she does not always seem to be in synch with what is really going on, at Google.

Mayer proclaimed she has no more need for the "old model of search" to assure:

We want to help you find the very best answer, even if you don't know where to look.

Mayer may be the Google VP Search Products & User Experience, but her VP Engineering colleagues are a bit more sanguine on the ability, or not, of Google to surface the "very best answer."

I heard Adam Bosworth at the NYC Googleplex discuss how search at Google is in fact a "fuzzy problem," as I report and analyze in Google on Search: ‘Natural Language works when it isn’t’

Imprecision is better than nothing and searchers "don't know if we are right," Bosworth believes. We make educated guesses and people are pretty forgiving, he happily concluded.

REALLY? With $25,000 on the line, "people" will undoubtedly not be so "forgiving" if Google can not surface the "very best answer."

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We may very well soon find out: The Jeopardy Google Daily Challenge Sweepstakes debuts June 4:

The Jeopardy Google Daily Challenge Sweepstakes features an extra clue from one of the categories in that day's Jeopardy. Visit Jeopardy online each day from June 4th to July 13th, to play a new clue and you'll have a chance to win one of the daily $100 giveaways. By entering every day, you'll increase your chances of winning $5,000, $10,000, or the $25,000 Grand Prize!

Remember, you must enter the correct response for your sweepstakes entry to be valid. Not sure what it is? That's where the powerful Google Search engine comes in.

I heard Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Personal Democracy Forum earlier this month on his vision for iGoogle to "understand" how people think, as I report and anlayze in How Google will get inside YOUR head:

With the personal version of Google, iGoogle, the computer will get to know you so well, it will say good morning, you are late this morning, but you are always late; It will almost understand how you think and mimic behavior.

With $25,000 riding on the iGoogle Jeopardy gadget, however, "people" will be hoping Google will know a lot more than simply what time to wake up in the morning.

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SEE: Why Facebook is scarier than Google and Beware: Google is NOT your privacy friend and Why Google CEO is ‘harmless’

Topic: Google

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3 comments
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  • Technical Knowledge

    Your carping on Adam Bosworth's comments about "search as a fuzzy problem", "imprecision", and "educated guesses" displays a lack of technical knowledge about how search engines operate.

    [i]Every[/i] search engine does these things, unless they're the painfully-simple and blindingly incoherent free-text searches of yore, which mindlessly match your inputs exactly to the indexed search material available.

    A search engine that tries to guess at what I mean by a query instead of faithfully accepting my inputs is much more forgiving and easy to use for someone who doesn't have the time, patience, or intimate knowledge of the search-set to craft a precision query that returns the exact result.
    william.furr@...
  • RE: Google Universal Search $25,000 query in Jeopardy

    As someone that looks for information in Google almost every day I can say that the search results are useless on many occasion unless I can define the search with accurate "search within the results" features.

    The people are not so happy with the current situation especially if they look for something more than shopping on-line, I really hope that the iGoogle would be the answer.
    cup@...
  • http://iphone.analogstereo.com

    http://iphone.analogstereo.com
    eng_forums@...