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Accoona, Artificial Intelligence and Hype

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Gary blogged yesterday's launch of new search engine Accoona, and has followed up with a closer look in today's SearchDay article, Accoona Launches, But Isn't Ready for Prime Time. After testing the search engine with a few softball queries, Gary came away less than impressed but hopeful the search engine will improve over time.

Accoona is seeking to differentiate itself from Yahoo, Google and other leaders by touting its "revolutionary" artificial intelligence technology. "Accoona's artificial intelligence technology will elevate search engine performance to a new unprecedented level, allowing the most relevant search available today," said Accoona CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer at yesterday's launch.

The AI spin is interesting, but the implication that Google, Yahoo and others don't employ artificial intelligence techniques is misleading. They do -- there's a lot of AI in all major search engines. Also worthy of note: Google's director of search quality, Peter Norvig, is the co-author of a book regarded by many as the "Bible of Artificial Intelligence." I'm willing to bet that at least a few engineers at the Googleplex have read Peter's book, and maybe have even woven some of its lessons into the search engine's DNA.


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