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  1. The Knowledge Graph : Google Goes Nativist

    The New Yorker (May 26 2012)

    1. The Knowledge Graph : Google Goes Nativist

      Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. 

      ...what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. And more than that, in a decade or two, scientists and journalists may well look back at this moment as the dividing line between machines that dredged massive amounts of data—with no clue what that data meant—and machines that started to think, just a little bit, like people.

      Google used to be essentially an empiricist machine, crafted with almost no intrinsic knowledge, but endowed with an enormous capacity to learn associations between individual bits of information. Now, Google is becoming something else, a rapprochement between nativism and empiricism, a machine that combines the great statistical power empiricists have always yearned for with an enormous built-in database of the structured categories of persons, places, and things, much as nativists might have liked. Google’s search engines still track all the trillions of occurrences of the word “Paris” and what it is associated with in user queries and documents, but now tries to relate those words not just to each other, but to categories, like people, places, and corporations.

      (Read Full Article)

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