RankBrain is turning its search engine into a robot – seriously
Much like Google’s automated self-driving car – which I’m sure you’ve heard of or read about – that can drive itself and navigate traffic by adapting to its surroundings, Google has just released news of its brand new page ranking feature that has its own type of adaptability. Referred to as having a machine learning ability, RankBrain is the new algorithm for Google’s revered page ranking system which can mimic the human learning process.
For every search term you enter into Google’s search engine, Google has a general algorithm that sorts through all of its information in order to get you the best results. Now, as an addition to this algorithm, RankBrain has the ability to sort through all of this information, digest it, and learn from the way you and the millions of other users phrase their queries. So, much like a human child learns how to speak through others talking to and around it, RankBrain will be able to learn on its own and program itself to perform better, producing more accurate search results.
Google’s algorithm is already highly effective, as you can type a question or phrase in and seemingly get exactly what you want. Now, however, Google will be performing much like artificial intelligence movies have imagined, (Think iRobot, but hopefully without the corruptive uprising of the robot population). It’s supposed to use your search patterns and other indicators to respond to your queries even more effectively. Now and in the near future, typing into Google should be more like submitting questions to the smartest human beings. It will be somewhat like sending an astronomy question to the famed Stephen Hawking, or sending an e-mail to a mechanic asking how to change your oil – except with RankBrain, you’ll get immediate results.
These are the theoretical speculations regarding what we hope will come of RankBrain. Although it’s somewhat creepy that we will now be consulting with what is essentially artificial intelligence, hopefully it will only go as far as helping us get what we want out of our Google searches.