Google’s Head of Artificial Intelligence Takes Charge of Search

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googleby Angela Guess

Alistair Barr reports in the Wall Street Journal, “Alphabet Inc.’s Google is putting the leader of its artificial-intelligence research in charge of its online search engine, showing how important AI technology is to the future of the company’s main profit engine. AI chief John Giannandrea will take over from search leader Amit Singhal, who said on Wednesday he is leaving in late February after 15 years at Google. Google sees AI as an emerging technology frontier that will power new products and services to give it an edge over rivals in the next decade and beyond. Artificial intelligence has already begun to influence how Google’s search engine answers questions, and the company has amassed some of the world’s leading experts in the field.”

Barr continues, “Last year, Google introduced RankBrain, a system to handle complex or rare queries, including the 15% of searches that it has not previously seen. Google engineers built RankBrain using an AI technique called deep learning, feeding it previous questions and answers, and looking for patterns in what made the best results. The results are considered good enough that RankBrain is the third-most-important signal, of more than 200, that Google’s search engine uses. ‘Search is stronger than ever, and will only get better in the hands of an outstanding set of senior leaders who are already running the show day-to-day,’ Mr. Singhal said in a Google+ post.”

photo credit: Google

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