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Terminator Origins: The Semantic Search

December 21, 2012
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Posted by Hunter Lansche

The idea of a cybernetic organism was fun to think about when “The Terminator” came out. I know I thought about how cool it would be to interact with something so incredible like the Terminator. Of course, on the other side, the horrible feeling of impending doom for the human race wasn’t quite as cool. Either way, it was still good fun to think about.

Well, I think some of the geeks back then mulled over that question more than the few minutes most of us other geeks gave it. Thanks to them, we now have the likes of Siri and the brain-demolishing supercomputer Watson. And who can possibly be scared of Skynet when we have the most horrifying technology of all time — the humanoid robot, CHARLI, who dances to “Gangnam Style” by Korean rap sensation Psy. Oh, the HUMAN-oid-ITY! (No, don’t get up, I’ll punch myself for that one.)

All joking aside, the simple truth is that technology is constantly evolving and becoming “smarter.”

Enter the “semantic search.” What is it, you say? It’s a type of search that tries to improve accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of the search terms. Here’s a nice description of Bing’s semantic search by Bing Search Director Stefan Weitz:

“What you’re seeing is the transformation of search,” says Weitz, “away from simply a place where you go and enter a keyword and get links back to being very contextual. It means Bing really has to be smart enough to both understand a bunch of different types of inputs and generate results in a way that makes sense given who the user is, what device they’re on, and what they’re trying to get done. Search is going to become this ubiquitous always-there thing that will help you get stuff done.”

How … sensible. That’s the sort of technological innovation you’d imagine the future having.

I suppose whether or not John Connor will be the human race’s savior remains to be seen, but couple things are for sure — (1) semantic searches are going to vastly change how we search the internet, and (2) SEO experts will have job security for some time to come.

Head over to Mashable to read more about Bing’s semantic search efforts.

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