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The Human Google

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I have always said that the only thing better than Google, is a human Google. Armed with human judgment, a search engine could be off-the-hook, capable of tailored and precise context.

Well, it looks like they’ve actually done it.

But not Sergey and Larry, it’s Jason Calacanis – and the folks at Sequoia.

I met with Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors) last friday at his offices in El Segundo, for an interview for SciAm, and he mentioned funding a new search engine – one that uses a human filter – called “Mahalo” — that’s ‘welcome’ or ‘thank you’ in Hawaiian (aka maybe surfer speak.)

This engine might have a fighting chance against Google. It’ll be announced this week at the “All Things Digital” conference in San Diego. Apparently there is a team (how many I don’t know) of human editors that filter spam and off-the-mark search results.

Imagine a human filtering your results just for you! How this works is the mystery, (and the answer of whether it’ll actually succeed.)

But as anyone who has dealt with an automated dialing menu knows, nothing beats understanding context like human judgment. I mean, those menus have a 90 percent failure rate for getting my questions answered. And I end up pressing zero over and over, just praying a human will come.

No computer or robot has mastered the unlimited ability of a human to get context. This is the ultimate challenge in artificial intelligence.
Mahalo. Mahalo. Mahalo. Anxious to see what you do.

This entry was written by Christie, posted on May 30, 2007 at 8:03 am, filed under Home. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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