Google's digital assistant is getting a whole lot smarter at answering trivia questions. By giving its search engine the ability to understand semantics, Google Now can handle more complex queries.
"We can now break down a query to understand the semantics of each piece...so we can get at the intent behind the entire question," Google said in a statement. "That lets us traverse the Knowledge Graph much more reliably to find the right facts and compose a useful answer."
Google can now handle questions that involve superlatives, ordered items, references to a particular point in time and complex combinations.
What can you ask Google?
When you're stumped on trivia night, and if the rules allow for a digital assistant to be your partner, you can prod Google to tell you "what are the largest cities in Texas," or "what songs did Taylor Swift record in 2014."
Asking Google for the Royals roster in 2013 will bring back a result page with the team members in 2013, not the current roster. You can also ask more complex questions, like "who the US President was when the Angels won the World Series."
Business users doing research on the web could save time with Google's smarter search. The improved search could mean fewer queries to achieve the results you desire.
For example, previously you had to ask two separate questions to find out who the US President was when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won the World Series. You had to ask Google first for the year that the Angels won the World Series, and then ask who the US President was during that year. Now, you can combine both questions into a single query.
Google says that it is constantly working to improve its search engine, and mistakes will be made along the process.
"Ask Google "Who was Dakota Johnson's mom in the movie?", and we'll respond with the movies of Dakota Johnson's real-life mother Melanie Griffith, not the actor Jennifer Ehle who played Anastasia's mother Carla in the 50 Shades of Grey movie," the search giant confessed.
The enhancements to how Google search parses your questions were implemented on Google's end, so no update is necessary. Users will be able to ask more complex questions on the web, through the Google search app on iOS or through the Google Now service on Android devices.
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