Introducing Google’s Knowledge Graph – Things, Not Strings


Google is telling us how we will learn in the future. It’s pretty much that simple. Google’s Blog post on May 16 – Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings – announced that it is developing a new search tool.

Search is a lot about discovery – the basic human need to learn and broaden your horizons. But searching still requires a lot of hard work by you, the user. So today I’m really excited to launch the Knowledge Graph, which will help you discover new information quickly and easily.

Take a query like [taj mahal]. For more than four decades, search has essentially been about matching keywords to queries. To a search engine the words [taj mahal] have been just that – two words.

But we all know that [taj mahal] has a much richer meaning. You might think of one of the world’s most beautiful monuments, or a Grammy Award-winning musician, or possibly even a casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Or, depending on when you last ate, the nearest Indian restaurant. It’s why we’ve been working on an intelligent model – in geek-speak, a “graph” – that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings.

So, if you ever had any misconception that librarians might still have a roll as gate keeper for information seekers – FORGET IT! Computer programmers have taken that away from us.

AND – “This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.” so this is just the beginning of our slide into obsolescence. Every librarian reading this should begin looking for a new profession.

I’ve been writing for some time that commercial enterprise will fill the void, and since they have the resources to do it NOW – not in 10 years after committees debate the situation – it is ready for public consumption. People will ALWAYS select the best tools available to provide the services they want, and what used to be traditional library services are no exception. There is no more love affair with the local library simply for the esoteric pleasure of ‘books.’ Life is too practical, progressive and technology oriented.

I’m afraid that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills idea of teaching information and media literacy will be too little too late. Young people – excuse me, ALL people – will be inexorably drawn to Google’s new knowledge graph like bees to blossoms.

Be sure to watch their video at the bottom of the post.

We hope this added intelligence will give you a more complete picture of your interest, provide smarter search results, and pique your curiosity on new topics. We’re proud of our first baby step—the Knowledge Graph—which will enable us to make search more intelligent, moving us closer to the “Star Trek computer” that I’ve always dreamt of building. Enjoy your lifelong journey of discovery, made easier by Google Search, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing what you love.

Posted by Amit Singhal, SVP, Engineering

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One response to “Introducing Google’s Knowledge Graph – Things, Not Strings

  1. Pingback: Styling Librarian: Technology Resources Shared for May 2012 « The Styling Librarian

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