Powerset or Power Hype?


Powerset is one of the few new search offerings that actually may threaten the status quo, where Google picks up the lion’s share of internet searches (and internet search revenues) simply because they are the best of the mediocre. I’m not knocking Google’s brilliance here, but people are not realizing how great search would be if you could, for example, carry on a conversation with the computer rather than try to constrain the dialog in ways that meet the needs of the search algorithms. Powerset probably won’t be a conversation with the machine, but if they can crack the nut of natural language search even Google may tremble, as they are currently weak in that regard and it appears they have not been spending the time and money in that direction.

TechCrunch and VentureBeat on Powerset potential.

Natural language search is basically the idea that you’ll tell the computer exactly what you need, and probably refine the query as you would if you were speaking to a person. This may not do much for advanced “power users” who know how to use boolean expressions and advanced query refinements to get at the info they want, but it could be a wondrous thing for the other 99% of searchers out there who struggle every day trying to get Google Yahoo, or MSN to deliver the great specific results they need.

I still predict that eventually it’ll be Artificial Intelligence applications that bring us “near perfect” results as they’ll be able to screen spam and process good stuff at light speed, but great AI search is probably at least a decade away.

The search game has just begun and it’ll be fun to see how Powerset fits in.

2 thoughts on “Powerset or Power Hype?

  1. I have thought quite deeply about this problem myself. A key index is translation. If Powerset would provide a translation serve I could quickly judge how close it was getting.

    The boat goes through a lock (éclusia not cerradura)
    I have a vacancy and I am looking for a match (correspondenta not cerilla)
    The season of spring (primavera not ressorte)

    This is a data set for a quick test Engish/Spanish. I have given the Google words.

  2. Powerset is a late comer and far behind others in the NLP search tech space. NLP has always thrown aways context to fit SQL database calls. A fundamentally new database architecture is required (Patents filed as early as 1994) to use every scrap of context expressed by well articulated needs (query). You can experience an award winning NLP enterprise search offering (activated in 2005) at Boston’s Children’s Hospital’s Center for Media and Child Health – http://www.cmch.tv – go to their “research” page and experience “Smart Search.” This NLP engine encourages (for highest precision) an everyday conversational query of unlimited length and complexity including “user jargon” of ten social science professional domains.”
    The next and final (post Google/Powerset) achievement in breakthrough user experience will be Jarg Corporation’s Semantic Knowledge Indexing Platform (SKIP) launch mastering “NOP” Natural Object Parsing that co-populates “well-understood native object content fragments” in the same master index with NLP-graph fragments. This final step – using conversational style requests (over a cell phone or keyboard) will provide total information awareness associated with the “roll” of the user – as derived on the fly from the full context of the request’s information needs. Only relevant knowledge will be considered and the more contexts in the request – the more highly personalized will be the returns-ranking. These returns will be a “collage,” ranked by fit-to-context, of image segments, fragrances, text, structure segments, music segments and all forms of knowledge with precise contextual relation to your on the fly the needs – fit to your “user’s roll” of the moment. Jarg will be seeking its very fist institutional capital starting in March 2007. Jarg has incorporated Semantx Life Science, Inc. Care Commons, Inc and Preemptive Alert Corporation to become best of breed in their verticals.

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