A look at a patent from Microsoft on how Bing may use natural language processes to:
- Understand Questions
- Formulate Queries About Those Questions
- Gather Evidence (find answers) on the Web
- Extract and Rank Answers
In the patent application, the Microsoft Research Asia team behind it has some unkind words to say about IBMs Watson (which likely also apply to the Star Trek Computer building crew at Google as well).
The patent breaks down the kinds of information that it might look for during each of those 4 phases, and provides an example of question answering with a question that could have been taken straight from Jeopardy.
I suspect the Microsoft Research Asia team would like to have Bing (or a future Bing with this natural language question answering engine installed) take on Watson in a game or two of Jeopardy.
The "question" from the patent:
“Shortly after this `Gretchen am Spinnrade` composer met Beethoven, he was a torchbearer at his funeral.”
One of our balloons has had quite a journey over the past few weeks. It did a lap around the world in 22 days, and has just clocked the project’s 500,000th kilometer as it begins its second lap. It enjoyed a few loop-de-loops over the Pacific ocean before heading east on the winds toward Chile and Argentina, and then made its way back around near Australia and New Zealand. Along the way, it caught a ride on the Roaring Forties — strong west-to-east winds in the southern hemisphere that act like an autobahn in the sky, where our balloons can quickly zoom over oceans to get to where people actually need them.
Traversing the stratosphere is particularly challenging this time of year because the winds actually change direction as the southern hemisphere moves from warmer to colder weather, resulting in divergent wind paths that are hard to predict. Since last June, we’ve been using the wind data we’ve collected during flights to refine our prediction models and are now able to forecast balloon trajectories twice as far in advance. In addition, the pump that moves air in or out of the balloon has become three times more efficient, making it possible to change altitudes more rapidly to quickly catch winds going in different directions. There were times, for example, when this balloon could have been pulled into the polar vortex – large, powerful wind currents that whip around in a circle near the stratosphere in the polar region – but these improvements enabled us to maneuver around it and stay on course. We can spend hours and hours running computer simulations, but nothing teaches us as much as actually sending the balloons up into the stratosphere during all four seasons of the year.
Take a look through our photo album to see some of the specific improvements that have been made to the balloon technology, thanks to the lessons we’ve learned in flight.
around 12 minutes in the conversation hits emotion, beauty and usefulness.
Academy of Art University | Web Design & New Media | A Conversation with Don Norman and Jon Kolko
- WalmartSearch & Social Marketing Manager, 2008 - present
- Chleba, 10'Minutos, DiagramaProject Manager, 2007 - 2008
- Universidad Nacional de La PlataBellas Artes, 1983
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