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A Search Engine That Understands Your Language

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, April 26, 2001

A search engine that speaks your language. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. It's not a unique idea. AskJeeves.com has billed itself as a natural language Internet search tool for years. Now Jeeves has some company. Meet Albert...

"We have a new technology that incorporates the latest in linguistic analysis. It corrects misspellings and mis-typings. We also have a personalization capability in that the user ... as a user enters their queries over time the user preference module, which is in our software, remembers what you asked for, remembers your fields of interest."

Albert Inc.'s John Toedtman. The idea is to quickly pinpoint exactly what it is you're trying to find. The technology is being marketed to corporate Web sites and intranets... .

"About half of the Fortune 500 have a search capability on their Web site right now. Our point is that there's a lot of frustration because the search doesn't work that well." Why is it important? "Well I think frustration on the consumer or the user's side really translates into less revenues for the company who has the site. People get frustrated, they can't find what they want. It just adds up to taking their frustration out , really not on the computer but on the company whose Web site it is."

At Albert.com, you can type in your own natural language search. I found it slower than AskJeeves... but in at least some instances, more accurate. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.