Google Knowledge Graph Picks Up A Few New Languages, And Shows Some Medical Smarts

What links someone searching the web for information about Prince Henry the Navigator in Portuguese and someone trolling for details about the medication synthroid?

The answer: Google’s Knowledge Graph, which now covers 570 million entities, 18 billion facts and connections, and about three times as many queries globally as when it was first launched. Google has announced that the Knowledge Graph will bring its intelligence to searches conducted in Portuguese as well as Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Italian.

Over the next few days, according to the Google Inside Search blog, users searching in those languages will also start to benefit from the Graph’s work toward achieving its goal of mapping out billions of real-world things, and find new information relevant to their language and country.

As the blog describes it, there’s more than just translation at work here. “The Knowledge Graph needs to account for different meanings of the same word -- “football” means something quite different in the U.S. than in Europe. It also needs to recognize what's most important in a particular region.”

This follows last week’s news that it’s also applying the intelligence of the Knowledge Graph to medicine, in response to the number of queries launched on the topic on Google. It has begun to show key facts -- side effects, related medications, links to in-depth resources, and more -- on the search results page for medications, using data comes from the U.S. FDA, the National Library of Medicine, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others.

And, in case you missed another recent Knowledge Graph development, in September Google introduced the Bacon Number Calculator – an online “six degrees of Kevin Bacon.” The Knowledge Graph’s People Also Search For feature helps users see how their search subjects are related to others, and the Bacon Number Calculator plays off the concept. In October, Google enhanced the People Also Search For feature so that people can mouse-over items noted there for an explanation of their relationship to the search subject.

It started by showing major co-starring roles between actors, movies, and TV shows as well as highlighting family connections among famous people in the Knowledge Graph, when an interesting explanation is available.