We are currently in an era where technology is at a level that almost everything seems possible. Although we don’t really have flying cars, elevator roads, or teleportation portals like what the early 80’s sci-fi movies prophesized – still, we’ve come a long way from sticks and stones.
This rapid advancement in our technological inventions is hastened with the birth of the internet – “the network of networks” – back in the 1980’s. Following the internet was the birth of a king, Google. Although at the time, 1998 to be exact, it was no more than just upstarts trying to piece together a big ambition – Larry and Sergey were still students at Stanford when this (now) billion-dollar company was first materialized.
And fun fact: Google’s initial name was “Backrub.” We are fond of using the word ‘Google’ as if it’s a verb, having to say an actual word that denotes action to refer to finding data is a bit awkward. Like, can you imagine telling your friend to “Backrub” something?
Moving 20 years forward, Google is now the second highest grossing website (next to Amazon) and the go-to search engine of almost a third of the surfing population. Out of trillions of searches made each year, 65% of those goes to Google. Tremendous – ain’t it?
So tremendous perhaps, that many websites put in the effort to get into Google’s ranks. SEO, online marketing strategies, blog creation, and other marketing tactics have been put forth by websites just to get featured in this billion-dollar search engine’s front pages. But hey, we’re not here to talk about this. If you need more information about this topic, just ask our Chicago SEO experts!
Google Never Fails To Give Back.
In 2012, Google launched a new kind of surfing experience and it easily transformed strings to things. And this very effective catchphrase isn’t the only thing that rocked for Google. Many considered the Knowledge Graph as paramount to the pursuit of AI or Artificial Intelligence.
A database that can process information by itself, create meaningful corollaries albeit the lack of human assistance, and form relationships between everything that ever walked this earth despite the absence of a living person to help draw connections – this is the Knowledge Graph and the future technology aims to achieve.
When Is Bacon Just Bacon?
If Google didn’t take a step forward in the development of the Knowledge Graph – or “The Vault”as some people may call it – You’d still be seeing Francis Bacon every time you search for new bacon recipes. Or, see honeycured bacon each time you search for the definition of the idiom “bring home the bacon.”
The English language is just so playful with semantics that if search engines relied on the physical representation of words alone to decipher the categorical placement of a given content, everything that’s spelled alike would be lumped as one and the same. When in fact, the meaning behind words change with people’s intentions. To understand text at a human level, the ideal AI must know that the subtlest change in speech and tone can make a statement mean an entirely different thing.
Let’s take the word “bug” as an example.
“He bugs me.”
“I’m scared of bugs.”
“I’ve caught a bug.”
“My computer’s got a bug.”
The word “bug” changes with the context it is used. All of these things mean differently. So if Google is just a plain word detector and its only basis for categorizing is the arrangement of letters, then its function as a search engine would still be close to being useless.
It is Google’s Knowledge Graph that makes it possible for these words to mean something for a system that is non-human. By gathering data, patterns, commonalities, and trends in how people key in searches and which sites best answers their queries, Google is able to draw the connections and later on, invented a program that can do this automatically. And that program has grown into the largest bank of information the world has today – the Knowledge Graph.
How Is The Knowledge Graph Fundamental To The Development Of AI?
The Knowledge Graph is trying to achieve what any AI professional has been aspiring for in ages, a system built to think and process information without human aid. In recent years, Google has been diving into the world of Artificial Intelligence. One solid proof is its acquisition of the London-based company DeepMind – who specializes in AI research and development – for a whopping 600 million dollars. To date, they’ve been using DeepMind’s technology to increase efficiency in their large data centers’ power usage resulting in hefty electricity savings. While this seems like a promising return to Google’s investment, many believe that there is more merit to acquiring DeepMind’s AI technology than just controlling humongous air-conditioning units. As to what Google plans to do with it in the future, still remains unknown. That is something we have tol wait for and see.
Is Google The Only Company To Come Up With A Knowledge Graph?
However successful, it is important to note that Google’s Knowledge Graph is not the first or the only one of its kind. Many who have come up with AI-assisted technologies have built their own version of knowledge graphs. And you’ve probably already seen by-products of this kind of technology in the form of automated customer support systems like Chatbots or more particularly – the Shopbot eBay has.
In order to assist customers properly, eBay has its own complex database of products linked to their respective characteristics (color, size, shape, mechanisms, etc.), manufacturers, functions, and other related items. This database emphasizes on the relationships between products so that when potential customers are in need of assistance to locate a specific item, they can just chat with the Shopbot. In other words, this is eBay’s own version of the Knowledge Graph – and it’s been programmed to work in line with e-Bay’s mission which is ”to be the world’s favorite destination for discovering great value and unique selection.”
In conclusion, the very existence of the Knowledge Graph – whoever’s it is – has greatly advanced what mankind knows of Artificial Intelligence. And with its continued evolution, we may not be far from seeing the epitome of AI technology – a system that will think, understand, and respond to information automatically, unaided by human influence.