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Xerox Takes A Stab At Semantic Search

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Every day, we bring you news of the latest comings and goings in the search engine industry.  The names Google and Yahoo come up a lot . . . Xerox, not so much.  But it’s that last company that is preparing a semantics-based search engine.

“Xerox Corp. says its new search engine based on semantics will analyze the meaning behind questions and documents to help researchers find information more quickly,” reports the AP’s Stephen Singer.  “FactSpotter promises to help by returning a specific portion of a search document that is relevant to the query.”

Singer then relays an example of what semantic search is all about.  “For example, common searches using keywords ‘Lincoln’ and ‘vice president’ likely won’t reveal President Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president.  A semantic search should yield the answer: Hannibal Hamlin.”

But here’s where Xerox may have a problem, as, following a Google search for “Google+Search”>Lincoln vice president,” I can see Hamlin’s name in the second, sixth, ninth, and tenth results – without even bothering to click or anything.  Whatever Xerox can do, Google may be able to do better.

Then there are the companies that only do semantic search.  Powerset’s engine hasn’t yet been released, but a lot of people have been impressed by some early previews.

Still, Xerox’s product isn’t yet “out there,” either, so it’s too early to judge how things will go.  “FactSpotter was introduced in Grenoble on Wednesday and will launch next year,” states Singer, “initially to help lawyers and corporate litigation departments plow through thousands of pages of legal documents.  Xerox expects the technology to eventually be used in health care, manufacturing and financial services.”

Xerox Takes A Stab At Semantic Search
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