Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Searches lead to better spell checker?

I came across this interesting perspective: Google's knowledge of search terms entered by users has given them the world's best spell checker! More interesting is the way they are focused on monetizing data.

Google is very good at learning from data. They realized that they had the world's largest collection of misspellings. They just have to wait for users to misspell a word. Once the search result comes back, the user identifies what they actually wanted to type in. That is a gold mine - world's largest library of misspellings. The library becomes better overtime, because they accumulate more and more variants over time. Google realized that they could use that library of misspellings and come up with a great spell checker in many languages which organically becomes better and better.

The same is true for their translation engine. These have started helping them have a crucial advantage in their office productivity suite - good enough interface but best in class spell checker, best in class automatic language translation etc.

Compare this with how other industries use data and you can see the huge potential for improvement in other industries like Credit Cards. Interesting. 

Karthik

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