Google Knowledge Graph: The Birth of Apple’s Siri Rival [Video]

Hinted at for months, the search giant finally launched its “Knowledge Graph” yesterday.

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The innovation, which is called Knowledge Graph, is a new search tool that is due to start rolling out today. The service will allow users to find search results faster. When you now search for a popular or well-known person, place or thing, you’ll get a box to the right of the results explaining more about your search term.

The term “Graph” is a technical one which is used to describe how a set of objects are connected. Google Inc. has used a “link graph” to model how pages link to each other in the way it should determine which are popular and relevant for particular searches.

Social networking site Facebook has used a “social graph” to understand how people are connected. “Knowledge Graph” is Google’s term for how it is building relationships between different people, places and things and report facts about these entities.

“The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query,” the company explains in its official blog.

“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.”

“Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth,” the statement reads.

“It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.”

Google’s new feature is a two-year-old project that evolved in part out of Google’s acquisition of Metaweb in 2010. Google now says it understands 500 million entities and 3.5 billion attributes and connections, reports All Things.

“Our goal is help you explore a topic more,” Google search engineer Ben Gomes said. “We’re providing you with a skeleton which we’re using to organize information. But if you actually want to find deep information around a topic, we have the Web pages to provide you with that information.”

The searcher engineer also described the Knowledge Graph project as part of Google’s overarching “progression from data to information to knowledge.” He added that Knowledge Graph results will turn on for a “significant fraction” of Google queries — about the same as local results.

While Google’s Knowledge Graph tries to focus on reliable sources of information, the searching giant goes on making search more social. Google has recently launched Google +, its own social network, into search results.

According to ABC News, Google+ updates from friends now appear in search results, and Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior VP of social business, has even said that Google+ is the future of Google.

“In the new Google, we know your name, we understand your circles, and we make every service better,” Gundotra said at SXSW in March. The Knowledge Graph will include the Google+ profiles if you search for someone who happens to be in the Knowledge Graph database and has a Google+ profile.

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