Monday, May 21, 2012

The Knowledge Graph: Google's Ministry of Truth.

If you remember, Orwell's "Ministry of Truth" concerned itself with spreading lies in order to manipulate public opinion; film and radio carried this process even further. The Ministry of Truth coined phrases like "War is Peace", Freedom is Slavery" and "Ignorance is Power". In other words, fiction became truth. So, what does this have to do with Google?

Well, anyone with an IQ of a bat - a baseball bat, that is -  knows Google has a monopoly on information distribution. It's hard to come up with anything on the net that Google hasn't, at the very least, tried to take over. Take YouTube, for example. Prior to Google's takeover, censorship was not an issue on YouTube. Today, it most certainly is. "Copyright School", anyone?

So, now, under the guise of of trying to produce semantically meaningful results, I suppose, Google will replace the old strategy of matching keywords to webpages, and employ Metaweb algorithms to generate search results in the form of a new search tool,  "The Knowledge Graph". This tool will return answers or “facts” from pre-selected sources  such as the CIA Factbook, Wikipedia, the World Bank, and Freebase, an open database generated by Metaweb, which Google acquired in 2010.

In addition to providing traditional search results, the Knowledge Graph results will offer a wide range of answers to search queries directly on the results page. In other words, instead of finding the correct Wikipedia article that has the answer, the information will appear in a type of Googlepedia display.

Instead of using the typical search strength of a particular answer, this new feature will draw "facts" from places like Wikipedia for historical information, CIA World Factbook for geopolitical answers, the World Bank for economic facts, Freebase for information about people and other predetermined
But, do we really want to abdicate the role of "decider" to Google, who plans to supply lowest common denominator search results, considering the aforementioned underlying sources that will embed meaning into the content?  Not me. Personally, I prefer unstructured ambiguity. It assures better access to unbiased information.


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