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Google Buys AI Social Search Service Aardvark 41

Posted by timothy
from the spelled-like-the-animal dept.
eldavojohn writes "MIT's Tech Review is covering an acquisition it finds very interesting. Google (which recently announced Buzz) has acquired Aardvark. The review covered Aardvark and the artificial intelligence it uses in its searches in 2009."
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Google Buys AI Social Search Service Aardvark

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  • Nose-y. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ostracus (1354233) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @10:17PM (#31109114) Journal

    Interesting name for a social service. An animal with a long nose that sticks it in crevices and laps up insects. How metaphorical.

  • Is that you?

  • I might be more interested in all of google's offerings if they offered a more unified interface to access everything.

    Read, Gmail, Buzz, Wave, Docs, Calendar are all windows that need open. Plus, as they add more services, their interfaces feel more like "hacks" to put it all together.

    • by Unoti (731964) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:03PM (#31109362) Journal
      I think they realize that, and it appears that Wave is an important part of fixing it. Gmail and Buzz I use in a single window- my Buzzes run inside Gmail pretty seamlessly in a single window. And it appears to me that Buzz is really a wave app.
    • by pvanheus (186787) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:34PM (#31109488)

      I also thought that when I first looked at Buzz.... but then I realised that Buzz is actually working off a rather minimalist integration of different websites model. This is actually a good thing - so instead of Facebook's model of providing "albums" and "notes", etc, I can publish a "newsfeed" that features the pictures I upload to flickr, the videos I put on youtube, the blog items I post on blogger, etc. Done right this is much much more powerful than Facebook - and part of "done right" will have to be integrating good ways of finding people - both by attributes such as name and location, and also by "group" - organisational or interest-based affiliation.

      • Awaiting for Buzz to support FB so I don't have to leave my email page to update my status on both. /not that mom my one reader cares

    • Read, Gmail, Buzz, Wave, Docs, Calendar are all windows that need open.

      Well, except they aren't; for example: Reader can be feed into Buzz, and Buzz can be read through Gmail.

  • Typical. First AI learns to walk, then it gets a job working in the UK police force and since being in a government job means lots of free time it's now socializing... All in a days work... I guess the fears of AI taking over were exaggerated, it's just as lazy as most humans only more faster and efficient.
  • by loxosceles (580563) on Thursday February 11, 2010 @11:36PM (#31109504)

    Most complex software uses some concepts taken from machine learning.

    AI this AI that. Die in a fire. AI is a buzzword on par with announcing your application uses red-black trees. YAY. Nobody cares unless there's a performance problem and a particular implementation is under scrutiny.

    When I see "AI" in the subject of a slashdot thread, I expect it to have some connection to Artificial General Intelligence, rather than something anyone can code after reading Norvig or Duda & Hart.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Nah...

      AI just means "it doesn't work".

      Since once it does work it isn't AI anymore, it's just an algorithm.

      • by TheLink (130905)
        > Since once it does work it isn't AI anymore, it's just an algorithm.

        Unless it is a slave or "domesticated" AI.

        It took us generations to domesticate certain animals, and not all animals are even that easily domesticated.

        I personally don't think we should create a "classic AI" just yet, since we already have plenty of nonhuman intelligences in petshops, zoos, slaughterhouses etc that we aren't handling that wonderfully).

        But to me "real AIs" would have to be able to dynamically create models of the changi
  • I was wondering why there were almost no comments to this slashvertisement. Then I realized: to say something about this story, you have to read the story since the summary says little. Now it makes sense to me - no one reads the story around here.
    • by Krahar (1655029)
      To help matters along: Aardwark in the story is a "searh engine" that works by recording questions people ask it and then selecting other users who are likely to know the person asking and/or that are able to answer the question. E.g. facebook friends are used to connect people in this way.
  • BTW, Larry Osterman has an article called "AARDvarks in your code": http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archive/2004/08/12/213681.aspx [msdn.com]
  • by Dahamma (304068) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:54AM (#31110156)

    If you RTFA, this has almost nothing to do with real artificial intelligence, it's just some basic text pattern recognition that directs your question to a person who claims some knowledge of the field. Basically all they have done is put a filter in front of Google Answers. That still may be a good thing for Google, but calling it AI is absurd.

  • Vark is the Afrikaans word (probably Dutch as well) for pig.

    Makes sense, Google is becoming way too corpulent. Hey, I just realised corporate rhymes with corpulent.

    Fat and greedy.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought this company was supposed to innovate but all they do is buy other companies and assimilate them into their borg. Pair that with their arrogance (see the recent Android vs Linux community fiasco) and you are left with a company not better than any other big company.
    • I think I liked this post the first time I read it ...

      In 1997 about Microsoft. Same song new band.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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