Google's Knowledge Graph

Search is a lot about discovery—the basic human need to learn and broaden your horizons. But searching still requires a lot of hard work by you, the user. So today I’m really excited to launch the Knowledge Graph, which will help you discover new information quickly and easily. 
Take a query like [taj mahal]. For more than four decades, search has essentially been about matching keywords to queries. To a search engine the words [taj mahal] have been just that—two words.
But we all know that [taj mahal] has a much richer meaning. You might think of one of the world’s most beautiful monuments, or a Grammy Award-winning musician, or possibly even a casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Or, depending on when you last ate, the nearest Indian restaurant. It’s why we’ve been working on an intelligent model—in geek-speak, a “graph”—that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings. 
The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.
Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.
The Knowledge Graph enhances Google Search in three main ways to start:
1. Find the right thing
Language can be ambiguous—do you mean Taj Mahal the monument, or Taj Mahal the musician? Now Google understands the difference, and can narrow your search results just to the one you mean—just click on one of the links to see that particular slice of results:
This is one way the Knowledge Graph makes Google Search more intelligent—your results are more relevant because we understand these entities, and the nuances in their meaning, the way you do.
2. Get the best summary
With the Knowledge Graph, Google can better understand your query, so we can summarize relevant content around that topic, including key facts you’re likely to need for that particular thing. For example, if you’re looking for Marie Curie, you’ll see when she was born and died, but you’ll also get details on her education and scientific discoveries:
How do we know which facts are most likely to be needed for each item? For that, we go back to our users and study in aggregate what they’ve been asking Google about each item. For example, people are interested in knowing what books Charles Dickens wrote, whereas they’re less interested in what books Frank Lloyd Wright wrote, and more in what buildings he designed.
The Knowledge Graph also helps us understand the relationships between things. Marie Curie is a person in the Knowledge Graph, and she had two children, one of whom also won a Nobel Prize, as well as a husband, Pierre Curie, who claimed a third Nobel Prize for the family. All of these are linked in our graph. It’s not just a catalog of objects; it also models all these inter-relationships. It’s the intelligence between these different entities that’s the key.
3. Go deeper and broader
Finally, the part that’s the most fun of all—the Knowledge Graph can help you make some unexpected discoveries. You might learn a new fact or new connection that prompts a whole new line of inquiry. Do you know where Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpsons (one of my all-time favorite shows), got the idea for Homer, Marge and Lisa’s names? It’s a bit of a surprise:
We’ve always believed that the perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want. And we can now sometimes help answer your next question before you’ve asked it, because the facts we show are informed by what other people have searched for. For example, the information we show for Tom Cruise answers 37 percent of next queries that people ask about him. In fact, some of the most serendipitous discoveries I’ve made using the Knowledge Graph are through the magical “People also search for” feature. One of my favorite books is The White Tiger, the debut novel by Aravind Adiga, which won the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Using the Knowledge Graph, I discovered three other books that had won the same prize and one that won the Pulitzer. I can tell you, this suggestion was spot on!
We’ve begun to gradually roll out this view of the Knowledge Graph to U.S. English users. It’s also going to be available on smartphones and tablets—read more about how we’ve tailored this to mobile devices. And watch our video (also available on oursite about the Knowledge Graph) that gives a deeper dive into the details and technology, in the words of people who've worked on this project:
We hope this added intelligence will give you a more complete picture of your interest, provide smarter search results, and pique your curiosity on new topics. We’re proud of our first baby step—the Knowledge Graph—which will enable us to make search more intelligent, moving us closer to the "Star Trek computer" that I've always dreamt of building. Enjoy your lifelong journey of discovery, made easier by Google Search, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing what you love.

Google's self-driving cars


Look, no hands! Google's self-driving cars set to hit the roads of Nevada after being granted licence

  • DMV gives Google first license to test self-driving Prius on public streets
  • Cars will have red licence plates to signal them out as 'cars of the future'
  • Vehicles could be ready for market in as little as three to five years

Nevada drivers could soon be sharing the road with vehicles that don't need them.
The state's Department of Motor Vehicles have announced that they have issued Google with the nation's first licence to test self-driving cars on public streets.
The department said, after conducting demonstrations on the Las Vegas Strip and in Carson City, that the car is as safe - or perhaps safer - than a human.
For one thing, the engineers programed the car to create a ‘virtual buffer zone’ around obstacles, making it more aware than some drivers about their surroundings.
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All the (road) rage: Nevada's DMV issued Google a license allowing the world's first driverless car to drive on public streets
All the (road) rage: Nevada's DMV issued Google a licence allowing the world's first driverless car to drive on public streets
Motorized view: This is what a driverless car sees; now Google's driverless Prius is allowed to roam the streets
Motorised view: This is what a driverless car sees now that Google's Prius is allowed to roam the streets
Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow said: 'It gets honked at more often because it's being safe.'
Self-driving vehicle technology works like auto-pilot to guide a car - in this case a modified Prius - with little or no intervention from a human operator.

    Laser radar mounted on the roof and in the grill detects pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, creating a virtual buffer zone around the obstacles that the car then avoids.
    Some readers envision the robotic car dropping off its operator at the front of the mall and hunting for a parking spot on its own, but Mr Breslow said this was not quite the case, as Nevada's regulations require two people in the test cars at all times. 
    One person is behind the wheel, while the other person monitors a computer screen that shows the car's planned route and keeps tabs on roadway hazards and traffic lights.
    If there's a glitch, the human driver can override the autonomous auto with a tap on the brake or a hand on the steering wheel.
    No hands: Steve, who is legally blind, sat behind the wheel during a recent test drive and showed off to the passengers that no hands were needed
    No hands: Steve, who is legally blind, sat behind the wheel during a recent test drive and showed off to the passengers that no hands were needed
    Last summer, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval took the car for a spin in and around the state's quiet capital city. 
    But Las Vegas Boulevard, where costumed superheroes routinely take the crosswalks and massive billboards angle for the attention of starry-eyed tourists, was perhaps best suited to test the car's main purpose.
    'They're designed to avoid distracted driving,' Mr Breslow said. 'When you're on the Strip and there's a huge truck with a three scantily clad women on the side, the car only sees a box.'
    So far, Google's applied to license three test vehicles. Mr Breslow said the cars will display red plates and an infinity symbol to represent their status as vehicles of the future.
    Once they're ready for the market - something Mr Breslow guesses could come in three to five years - the plates will be green.
    Food run: Steve programmed the car to drive in for a quick bite to eat at a drive-thru
    Food run: Steve programmed the car to drive in for a quick bite to eat at a drive-thru

    Video: Google's driverless car: