Monday, May 12, 2008

Powerset Could Make Internet Searching More Intuitive than Ever

Powerset is a new search tool that has the potential to change the way we look at search engines. Powerset searches wikipedia based on natural language rather than key word language. In other words instead of searching based on key words Powerset searches based on the meaning of the words as a whole. When you search on Powerset, Powerset scans the information on the pages of wikipedia and provides a short summary followed by a list of links to pages containing more information. For example, when I searched the phrase "who is John Denver" this is what I received in return.

This short video from Powerset explains their service.

Powerset Demo Video from officialpowerset on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
While Powerset may make searching wikipedia's millions of entries more accessible to students who haven't learned how to refine key word searches, the real value of Powerset lies in potential of the technology they employ. If the natural language capabilities of Powerset can be applied to other websites or on a larger scale, Internet search results could become easier to navigate and more directly relevant to students' research.