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To use Google's system, the user simply types in the words "Bacon number" followed by the name of the actor. By way of example, typing "Bacon number Simon Pegg" reveals that Bacon and the British actor are linked by Tom Cruise, because the latter appeared in 1992's A Few Good Men with Bacon and in 2006's Mission: Impossible III with Pegg. Pegg therefore has a Bacon number of two, indicating two degrees of separation.
Lead engineer Yossi Matias said the project was about showcasing the power of Google's search engine by flagging up the deep-rooted connections between people in the film industry. "If you think about search in the traditional sense, for years it has been to try and match, find pages and sources where you would find the text," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's interesting that this small-world phenomena when applied to the world of actors actually shows that in most cases, most actors aren't that far apart from each other. And most of them have a relatively small Bacon number."Google builds Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon into its search system [guardian.co.uk]
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:11 am (utc) on Sep 15, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed Google search link [/edit]
Good to see they've spent their time improving user experience by developing another useless feature.
Yes, the baconator doesn't have any real world applications, but little things like these provide insight into the direction that Google is moving.
Obviously, they felt that this was really cool.
Seems like just another non-search related game the engineers came up with to fill time...
[edited by: londrum at 8:01 pm (utc) on Sep 14, 2012]
I would say, rather, they thought this was *easy* - a place to start, play, experiment and demonstrate...
...once subject/location/context is identified, image searching becomes significantly more efficient and nuanced. It becomes much more like site: search (pun intended here) than like, say, a global search of organic results.
I could see this being applied to authoritative authors of an industry.
Long term, I imagine being able to find relationships that I could not find manually because the data sets are too big, the connections too many hops, the data not structured enough.
The combination of three capabilities make Watson unique:
Natural language processing - to help understand the complexities of unstructured data which makes up as much as 90% of the data in the world today Hypothesis generation and evaluation - by applying advanced analytics to weight and evaluate a panel of responses based on only relevant evidence Evidence-based learning - to improve based on outcomes to get smarter with each iteration and interaction
Let's face it - the web is minimally structured data - and structured mark-up 9such as schema.org offers) is not likely to find widespread adoption any time soon. Google needs to do more than just wait around for web authors who may never get on board.
Search is about relationships. If search is not about relationships, what is it about?
[edited by: londrum at 1:01 pm (utc) on Sep 16, 2012]
if i ask you, 'did you see president obama today?'
same information that was already available on a 10-year old website