Yesterday, as I was on a lengthy drive, I was sorting out a possible connecting between Google Search, Google Books and the Semantic Web—>tied to Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity. I think my brain grew a new wrinkle but whether or not the connections I was trying to make make sense or are part of the scheme is probalby beyond my ability to determine. But, that observation aside I set out to learn more about Google Search, Google Books, and Semantic Web and present that here and finally take another look at Kurzweil’s Singularity.
First of what what is it about Google Search that makes them unique, how do they do it? Well according to various sources. Fundamental to how Google operates and even why it does what it does is it’s mission;
And while it is not my intent to discuss the history of Google here it should be noted that:
That mission, in my opinion could be expanded to include all information, even that which is not on the web, digitizing it and putting it on the web.
How do they do this though?
… a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page, used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set. The algorithm may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns to any given element E is also called the PageRank of E and denoted by PR(E). (retrieved fromWikipedia, 12/29/09)
In terms that make sense to me .. Google indexes web pages based upon key terms, the more popular key terms on a website and how they are phrased all have something to do with how your site and content is indexed by the search engine.
Integrating this indexing of text or content from websites with the massive Google books project seems huge ..to date various resources indicate that over 10 million books have been digitized by Google. As Tim O’Reilly noted the key to Google is.. “database management. Google isn’t just a collection of software tools, it’s a specialized database.” Indeed the Google Books project is just that a vast digital warehouse of text, knowledge and information. Integrated with that project is:
(retrieved from Wikipedia, 12/29/09)
Now having established that Google “views” the web and the web content as one large searchable database, that it has taken web based content and made it searchable, and is now taking vast amounts of non webbased content and digitizing it as well..and further adding to the database..where does the Semantic Web come into this? \
According to this website the Semantic Web is:
In order to apply or understand the semantic web it is necessary to understand that it requires adding semantic metadata, or data that describes data, to information resources…further definition from the “How Stuff Works Website“ indicates that … Semantic Web proposes to help computers “read” and use the Web. The big idea is pretty simple — metadata added to Web pages can make the existing World Wide Web machine readable…”
As is indicated this does not create an ‘artificial intelligence” definition for the WWW yet. However digging deeper in to Kurzweil’s Singularity may allow us to harness that wealth of information to create an artificial intelligent WWW.
Wikipedia provides an overview of technological singularity as follows:
I propose that we are driven, by our very need to learn and learn more to achieve the singularity, to harness the ‘energy” of the world’s knowledge..the abillity to do so is at our fingertips…Brin and Page designed the mission of Google to achieve this aim, whether they did this knowingly or not is immaterial, reality is they are achieving this aim through Google Books, Google Search and now with the advent of the Semantic Web, which provides a means to harness this vast wealth of information .. we are close to achieving Superintelligence via machines.
From the companion website for the book The Singularity is Near Kurzeil notes:
Google harnesses the computing power of hundreds of thousands of interconnected pc’s, billions of pages of data, and now that information can be pushed to us in a systematic fashion via semantic web processes…the potential of solving problems that we can’t address due to limited knowledge or disaggregated data is limitless.
The Internet is huge..
Microsoft’s Bing team puts the amount of web pages at “over one trillion“.
And Google has already indexed more than one trillion discrete web addresses.
and another source of information on the number of web pages here: http://hubpages.com/hub/How-many-webpages-do-you-think-actually-exist-on-the-Internet.