Saturday, May 15, 2021

Conversational Search Comes to Chrome

Google has rolled out a new conversational search feature in the latest version of its Chrome browser, and many are calling it “impressive.” After clicking a microphone in the Google search box, users can speak a question, and Google will respond, not with a list of related websites, but with an audio answer to the question.

PCMag’s Adario Strange reported, “At its I/O developer conference last week, Google gave us an early look at what it has planned for its suite of software services. Now one of those enhancements, called ‘conversational search,’ is live on updated Chrome browsers, and the functionality is impressive.”

CNET’s Stephen Shankland explained, “To start a ‘conversation,’ people can click on the microphone icon in the search box, then speak a question, which Google shows and then answers. Subsequent queries can be made using the ‘OK, Google’ initiation that the company uses for making Glass receptive to voice commands.”

The Verge’s Matt Brian added, “The new update adds the ability to understand and link queries using Google’s Knowledge Graph, relating successive searches to the same subject. For example, if you ask ‘How old is Sergey Brin?,’ you can follow that up with ‘Who is he married to?’ and Google’s contextual search algorithms intelligently relate that to your original question.”

Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan commented, “I’m 17 years now into writing about search, and I’ve seen all types of things that have promised to revolutionize the space, especially products that trot out words like ‘natural language’ and ‘semantic search’ but fail to deliver. Conversational search has natural language, semantic search and more built into it, and while it’s far from perfect, this really is one of those significant changes that makes even a ‘seen it all’ person like me sit up and take notice.”

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