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Google Squared

Ars Technica has a good evaluation of Google Lab’s new product Google Squared.

Timmer says that Google Squared “takes a spreadsheet-like approach to finding information on the Web. It’s tempting to speculate that this is a bit of a response to Wolfram Alpha…” (see Making the world’s knowledge computable).

Unfortunately, so far, the results are decidedly mixed. “Google Labs have admitted, knowing how to populate both the rows and columns is a real challenge. Think how often inappropriate results appear within the top 10 results of a search, and you’ll get a sense of how often the wrong material shows up in the rows.”

Where Wolfram apparently takes the approach of building a database of information and presenting information from it intelligently, Google apparently takes the approach of using the entire web as a “database” and hope it can algorithmically build a valid table of results on the fly.

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