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Google Would Beat Bing At Jeopardy, Says Wolfram

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-thanks-for-bing-there-for-us dept.

Google 138

destinyland writes "Stephen Wolfram, the physicist behind the Wolfram Alpha 'answer engine,' believes that Google would beat Bing in any contest based on questions from Jeopardy. 'Wolfram took a sample of Jeopardy clues and fed them into search engines,' explains one technology blog. 'When it came to the first page, Google got 69 percent correct, just beating Ask with 68 percent and Bing on 63 percent. ... To put that into context, the average human contestant gets 60 percent of answers correct, while champion Ken Jennings has a record of 79 percent.' Interestingly, Wikipedia came in last, scoring 23%, though they may have more to do with how Wikipedia handles searches. In two weeks, IBM's Watson computer will compete on Jeopardy against two of the show's all-time human champions."

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Google results still much more accurate (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051056)

For the past few weeks I've switched over to Bing as my primary search engine.

Overall it works OK, but there have been a number of instances where Google has produced some dramatically better search results, as it in found something related to what I was looking for at all, on the first page. I've only gone over to look at Google when it seemed like the Bing results were not what I was expecting, but it has been interesting to find there still is a pretty large quality gap as I was thinking it might have been closed by now.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051414)

Why did you switch?

I use Bing at work by accident when I type something into the address bar for IE 6 that triggers a search. That is pretty much it. (We are blocked from changing the search engine otherwise I wouldn't even see it then. Heck, I can't even change the menus in start menu, but that is a whole other complaint.)

I find Google results a whole lot better for me - but I imagine that is because Google has profiled me and knows how to tailor the results to suite me.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051458)

Why did you switch?

That's exactly what I was wondering. If Google is dramatically better, even in some instances, then why switch?

Re:Google results still much more accurate (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051522)

I switched for two reasons:

1) Because I wanted to see if other search engines could work as well

2) Primarily, because I differ too greatly with Google at this point philosophically on the killing of the video tag under the guise to move to an open codec, and I wanted to reduce support of Googles revenue stream, even if only a tiny fraction they will never notice - it just makes me feel better.

Mostly it doesn't matter much, but there are a few times a week at least I have to turn back to Google.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (5, Informative)

SadButTrue (848439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053072)

I switched for two reasons:

1) Because I wanted to see if other search engines could work as well

2) Primarily, because I differ too greatly with Google at this point philosophically on the killing of the video tag under the guise to move to an open codec, and I wanted to reduce support of Googles revenue stream, even if only a tiny fraction they will never notice - it just makes me feel better.

Mostly it doesn't matter much, but there are a few times a week at least I have to turn back to Google.

I couldn't agree more. The way google is forcing Apple and Microsoft to not support the open and non patent encumbered WebM makes me sick. It is amazing to me how many sheeple still support evil google over the icon of fair market practices that is Microsoft.

Re:Mod parent +1 Excellent dry sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35053180)

I would mod you up to infinity if I had mod points.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#35054156)

But what about http://www.startpage.com/ [startpage.com] ? the have a pretty good privacy policy, that's a sell point over Google's.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35054562)

Yeah.. why would Google want to force people to switch to a format that they control... And when they update the format they want competitors to play catch up... Hmm.. sounds like C# and Mono all over again...

Re:Google results still much more accurate (2)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053630)

Dude, I hope you are a very clever troll.

microsoft AND apple are trying to kill the video tag with the patent-encumbered h.264. Google is saving it by offering WebM. ALL BROWSERS except for microsoft's explorer and apple's safari support Google's move. You can say whatever you want about Google regarding any other aspect, but in this case, they are doing the right thing.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Jaggo (1045148) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053896)

... ALL BROWSERS except for microsoft's explorer and apple's safari support Google's move. ...

lol. You mean, FF, Opera and Chrome support Google's move? ;)

Re:Google results still much more accurate (2)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053686)

If you abandon Google search because of how they handle their browser (or Youtube?), then why aren't you abandoning Bing because of Microsoft Windows, IE, or the doc format?

Re:Google results still much more accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35053794)

Why do you nerds feel this deep need to prove your personal opinions to be superior all the time? Leave the guy alone, jeez...

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#35054122)

Why are you posting on slashdot if you're not a nerd?

Re:Google results still much more accurate (0)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053922)

I switched from Alta Vista to Google when I was a kid and never switched back.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35054258)

And then you turn to Microsoft? People never cease to amaze me.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053282)

How do you know if Google is better if you don't try the other guys? Maybe we should call the Flat Earth Society in on this one?

Re:Google results still much more accurate (0)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051576)

Not in my experience.

First of all, Google tries to fix my query for me. I HATE that. I know exactly what I want to search for, and I don't want Google second-guessing me. It's gotten so bad that I can't search for anything without putting it in quotes, because Google will return entirely spurious results (e.g., I search for intel drivers, and I get three pages worth of intelligence tests from stupid quiz sites). Bing doesn't do that. If I search for intel, it only returns results for pages that include the term intel, like a search engine should. If I wanted to search for intelligence, I'd have included that in the search terms.

This second point isn't entirely Google's fault, and I feel a little bad for complaining about it, but Google is absolutely full of spammy and other worthless sites. Page after page of results are from spam/seo sites and, to a lesser extent, shitty blogs, twitter morons, and other social media sites. I don't give a fuck about any result from a social networking site (or, really, any "web 2.0" site). There are a handful of worthwhile blogs that I'd like included in my search results (blogs by people smarter than me: scientists, researchers, kernel developers, etc -- not some bullshit blog by an airhead with a soap box); it's Google's job to identify them, promote them to the first few results, and chuck the rest of them. Google fails miserably at doing this now, when it used to be amazing. When the first two or three pages are nothing but spam, social media, and blogs, I feel like punching babies. Bing, because of its newness, doesn't have such a cottage industry built around SEO and spam, though it does return a lot of pages from social networking and other "web 2.0" sites. It's like having all your searches restricted to Geocities. Ugh.

Finally (and this is more of a concern than an actual complaint), Google is slowly turning into a portal. I don't want e-mail. I don't want newsgroup access. I don't want news. I don't want instant messaging. I certainly don't want an account on some social networking service. I want to do an anonymous search on a search engine. Nothing more, nothing less. Luckily, the main Google page is still pretty clean and minimalistic, but I'm hesitant to believe that it's going to stay that way. In the past, search engines that "diversified" like that have always become very annoying to use, as they insistently prodded you to make use of their other services, so that they could make even more money off of you.

Bonus reason: for all their outrageous, illegal actions, Microsoft have never (to my knowledge) violated anyone's privacy. Google? There's a new controversy every few months. It's starting to make me feel very uncomfortable about using Google, and I'm not even especially protective of my privacy. Hell, I'd post my phone number here, if there were a field for it.

But who better? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051704)

I agree with a number of points you raise, except for the fixing - I find the fixing correcting misspellings far more often than it's searching for something I didn't want, and it's easy enough to click on the correction links.

But for the points you bring up I do agree with - spammy results - I don't think Bing fares any better. Do you use it as your primary search? I don't think it really matters that Bing is new as they all use similar algorithms to build search results, and Bing is getting the same annoying spam links I was getting on Google too.

As for the portal thing - I agree with the worry but as you say it's not gone that way yet for the Google page itself.

Mainly, even though I see the basis for your complaints I don't see any other site doing anything better.

Re:But who better? (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051958)

The problem with correction is that it's not even borderline intelligent. I've been doing something of a personal project creating artist description stubs for obscure demosceners on last.fm, so I've been running into this a lot lately. I'll type in an artist name like 'Cyanid' which Google thinks I must mean 'Cyanide' except that's not the whole search string, which will be like 'Cyanid "person's name"' and Google will search for 'Cyanide "person's name"' and display 0 results. But when I tell it, no, I really did mean 'Cyanid', there will be several results. It really shouldn't be that hard to write the correction code such that it compares the "corrected" search string with the original and at least skips the "corrected" if the return is fucking ZERO.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (3, Insightful)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051828)

> e.g., I search for intel drivers, and I get three pages worth of intelligence tests from stupid quiz sites)

I'm going to have to call shenanigans on at least one point; I just did a search for "intel drivers" (no quotes), and the entire first page was ... Intel Drivers related.

Here's a screenshot: http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/1377/20110130184253.png [imageshack.us]

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Natural Join (1711970) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052564)

"I search for intel drivers, and I get three pages worth of intelligence tests from stupid quiz sites"

O RLY? [google.com]

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#35054146)

How much is the salary for a Microsoft shill?

Your points make no sense and actually don't stand up at all to any testing. As has been stated, basic search for "intel drivers", sans the quotes, gives... intel drivers. It all stinks of a shill post as you're somehow claiming MS has never violated people's privacy, maybe use a better search engine and you'll find examples of them doing so.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051690)

For some reason I find Google provides much more relevant results for porn... I mean, that's what my friend told me.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052280)

I differ too greatly with Google at this point philosophically on the killing of the video tag under the guise to move to an open codec,

I often vote with my wallet, too. I was a NY Giants fan until I witnessed a parking attendant hit a squirrel with his truck. I was appalled by such animal cruelty, and have since switched my allegiance to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052928)

This analogy will be completely lost on the audience here.

(Hint to the American football ignorant: Michael Vick)

Re:Google results still much more accurate (2, Funny)

delvsional (745684) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053866)

I often vote with my wallet, too. I was a NY Giants fan until I witnessed a parking attendant hit a squirrel with his truck. I was appalled by such animal cruelty, and have since switched my allegiance to the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is slashdot god dammit. I don't give a rats ass about baseball.

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 2 years ago | (#35054114)

Don't you realize it could've been the squirrel from squirrelmail!

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052868)

I am only using Bing on my Android phone right now, by choice. My mobile phone based searches are different from my home-based searches. I often need to find a restaurant. With Bing and my GPS active, I could simply type in a restaurant by name, and Bing would accurately return the restaurant I was looking for with a dial option as well as listings of several other restaurants in the area. Bing's video searches seems better than what Google provides, and the new way Google Images is presented really is a drag on my browser; otherwise Google still is my primary.

There is a Washington Post article that states that Google is increasingly having problems with spam in search results. http://wapo.st/ij8iWO

Re:Google results still much more accurate (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053666)

If Wolfram and Heart are backing Google then my money is on those guys.

The do no evil slogan has been clearly thrown out the window at this point.

Question parsing (1)

Plombo (1914028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051062)

I wonder if Google and Ask utilize some form of question parsing in their searches. After all, a name like "Ask.com" simply begs for users to type their searches in the form of a question, and I wouldn't be surprised if many Google searches are typed that way too.

Re:Question parsing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051200)

Huh? Jeopardy clues are not in the form of a question.

Re:Question parsing (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051338)

That is what Ask.com was designed and optimized for. That was supposed to be their competitive advantage.

Re:Question parsing (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052362)

That is what Ask.com was designed and optimized for. That was supposed to be their competitive advantage.

I still kinda miss Jeeves, myself.

Standard Deviation? (3, Interesting)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051078)

Aren't these percentages too close to be meaningful? Of course it depends on the sample, but I think unless we get an all-winning AI it's interesting but nothing really special.

Re:Standard Deviation? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051446)

Aren't these percentages too close to be meaningful? Of course it depends on the sample, but I think unless we get an all-winning AI it's interesting but nothing really special.

That was my thought as well - 68 vs 63% - basically a draw.

Re:Standard Deviation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35053228)

It's a game show; wouldn't the quickest engine win?

That may be, but - (3, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051080)

Wikipedia would KICK *SS in the "Anime" category!

Re:That may be, but - (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052710)

Ooh, a troll mod - I didn't realize Jimmy Wales had time to hang out on Slashdot!

Re:That may be, but - (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35053044)

There's really no reason to censor as benign a word as "ass". If somebody here can't take that, they shouldn't be on the internet in the first place.

So what about (1)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051104)

So how does Wolfram's own creation Wolfram Alpha do in comparison against the other search giants?

Re:So what about (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051344)

I can only assume you've never used Wolfram Alpha, if you had you'd know it would score somewhere in the area of 0%

Re:So what about (1)

Keys1337 (1002612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051516)

My experience with wolfram alpha has been has been pretty good.

Re:So what about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051824)

Mine too, but that doesn't change the fact that it's not a search engine and cannot possibly answer a jeopardy question.

Re:So what about (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051470)

Alpha is not a search engine.

Let's do a test. (4, Informative)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051124)

Bing now lists this page as first result. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051238)

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Re:Bing now lists this page as first result. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051276)

LOL 2 that

Re:Let's do a test. (3, Informative)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051342)

This post is now the top result on Bing. Win.

Aside: Thees type of tests -- where you ask questions specific ways and gauge results -- are really useful if you'd like to do some experimentation with different search engines and avoid "bias." When I first tried Bing, I was astounded at how terrible it was. But my search results improved significantly when I stopped using "Google idioms," phrases that I know from past trial/error are very likely to get me a certain type of result from Google.

Switching search engines for a week is an interesting introspective exercise.

Re:Let's do a test. (0)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051660)

Except .. lets be honest. Bing is probably self-preferential in any search result whereas I don't think Google probably cares since they're already #1.

The guy in second place is always the loudest advocate of why they should 'really' be in first place and the current state of things (reality) is just a misunderstanding.

Re:Let's do a test. (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051976)

Yeah, Bing just won that one.

It really is too bad you can't just use both engines at the same time.
http://www.bing-vs-google.com/?q=slashdot [bing-vs-google.com]

Re:Let's do a test. (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052580)

(...) my search results improved significantly when I stopped using "Google idioms," phrases that I know from past trial/error are very likely to get me a certain type of result from Google.

Can you elaborate? I really don't know what sort of idioms you mean. The only ones I use are the likes of "site:stackoverflow.com".

Re:Let's do a test. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051912)

I just tested that, and the second result on Bing is "Google Would Beat Bing At Jeopardy, Says Wolfram - Slashdot"
Even Bing agrees that google wins.

Re:Let's do a test. (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052070)

http://www.bing.com/search?q=stephen+wolfram+is+famous+for+this+self+aggrandizing+book

Your post is now the #1 result on bing for that search. Too bad Bing doesn't have an "I'm feeling lucky" you could have linked to a search that would have taken you directly back to your post.

Re:Let's do a test. (1)

tal_mud (303383) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053808)

http://www.google.com/search?q=stephen+wolfram+is+famous+for+this+self+aggrandizing+book [google.com]
http://www.bing.com/search?q=stephen+wolfram+is+famous+for+this+self+aggrandizing+book [bing.com]

The actual results for this parents search are especially hillarious. Google comes up with a link to the book, Bing comes up with: "Google Would Beat Bing At Jeopardy, Says Wolfram"

Wikipedia search is useless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051154)

Unless you've got the exact title, you pretty much need to google site:en.wikipedia.org in order to find what you're after. Google and Wikipedia together work great.

Re:Wikipedia search is useless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051850)

To save typing, "inurl:wikipedia [search terms]" or even "wiki [search terms]" works just as well.

You can also create [mozilla.org] your own custom search plug-in - pretty simple actually, just an XML file.

Re:Wikipedia search is useless (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35053656)

When I want to find a Wikipedia article, I just type some part of the subject in Google. If it doesn't show on first page (this usually happens only if it is commercial-related, because then the first page is a bunch of SEO-optimized sites), I add 'wiki' at the end and voilà!

Re:Wikipedia search is useless (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052588)

This. Sort of. I find just adding "wiki" tends to give the same results. You occasionally get a wiki other than wikipedia, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. E.g. "wiki Bad Wolf [google.com] " gives results at wikipedia, but also at tardis.wikia.com [wikia.com] .

Re:Wikipedia search is useless (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053928)

It's amazing how often Google Suggest has "X wiki" in the list. Typing in "jon stewart", "jon stewart wiki" is the 7th suggestion for me.

Sure, but... (2)

realyendor (32515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051160)

...did any of them actually answer in the form of a question?

Google results (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051172)

I wonder how many percent of the correct Google answers were wikipedia articles.

Google is a superset of wikipedia (1, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051210)

The comment about Wikipedia seems out of left field. Wikipedia is a site, not a search engine. Presumably, all the search engines regularly return results from Wikipedia as well as many other sources.

Re:Google is a superset of wikipedia (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051358)

Nevertheless Wikipedia search totally sucks. It's even case sensitive, so searching for an article with the wrong case yields no hits and when you then search for article content you hit it right away and get redirected to the article with the title you were searching for in the first place. This is really idiotic.

Re:Google is a superset of wikipedia (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051462)

Agreed, I'm not the best speller in the world, and Wikipedia won't give me anything remotely close to what I'm looking for, even if I'm a letter off. I find myself seaching Wikipedia via Google more often (site:wikipedia.org) because the search results are just plain better.

Re:Google is a superset of wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051374)

Wikipedia does have a search engine (that indexes only wikipedia and wikimedia). I have seen perform poorly compared to a google search with site:wikipedia.org

Re:Google is a superset of wikipedia (0)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051834)

Wikipedia does have a search engine (that indexes only wikipedia and wikimedia).

Slashdot has a search engine too (that searches only Slashdot), I bet it does pretty poorly on these tests too. Adobe.com has a search function that searches only Adobe, once again, I bet it does pretty poorly. Complaints about the quality of Wikipedia's search functionality is fine, but not really relevant to the topic here as it is not a general purpose search engine but just a search function for a particular set of pages.

Re:Google is a superset of wikipedia (2)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052610)

What got me was the quote, "Interestingly, Wikipedia came in last, scoring 23%, though they may have more to do with how Wikipedia handles searches". As if the score of Bing and Google doesn't have anything to do with how they handle searches.

Slashdot still best at some specialities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051236)

For example, "Soviet Russia jokes for $100, Alex" [google.com] .

Re:Slashdot still best at some specialities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051384)

In Soviet Russia, you're still a basement-dwelling faggot.

Re:Slashdot still best at some specialities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051460)

In Soviet Russia, YOU are in Jeopardy!

Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051296)

A lot of my searches on Bing (at least math related ones) turn up Wolfram Alpha featured results at the top. What does this say about your own search engine, Mr. Wolfram?

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (2)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051368)

That it's not a search engine. [wolframalpha.com]

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (-1, Redundant)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051434)

Right sorry, Wolfram Alpha isn't a search engine the same way Bing is a "Decision Engine."

"Computational knowledge engine" sounds straight off the desk of the marketing director.

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051488)

A search engine would index web pages and shit. Alpha doesnt do that.

Alpha only indexes tabulated data and provides tools to process those tables.

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (0)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051524)

Process tables == search tables It is a search engine.

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051636)

Who decided that search = process, and who gave them that authority?

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051734)

I didn't realize the defining characteristic of a seach engine was that it "index[es] web pages and shit."

Here, I thought a search engine was some interface that accepts queries, and then retrieves results based on that query from some database, wheter it be an index of websites or otherwise. Something akin to that described here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Bing queries Wolfram Alpha (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052028)

It is. And that's not what Wolfram Alpha does.

I think the reason you're so insistent is that both Google and Wolfram Alpha want to do Natural Language Processing really well. Think of Wolfram Alpha as a CAS with a bunch of data sets pre-loaded and a natural language front-end. Because that's what it is. It can be used as a search engine on very specific data sets, but it is not (only?) a search engine. All a search engine does is tell you what among the domain of things the engine is responsible for could be related to your query.

Saying that Wolfram Alpha is a search engine is like saying your laptop is a calculator -- you can make a case that it's true, but we all know that it is a terrible characterization (and really not true anyways.)

Yeah, but . . . (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051300)

Which would win at Wheel of Fortune?

Re:Yeah, but . . . (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051888)

It would suck to play against a computer on Wheel of Fortune. For one, they'd never hit the Bankrupt spot on the wheel since they could precisely calibrate their spins, and second, they'd solve the puzzles that no one else could possibly figure out. I can see it now:

<standard four bell sound that signifies the start of the round>
Pat Sajak: The category is "Before and After". Robot, start us off.
Robot: <spins wheel and lands exactly where it wants>
Pat: $2000 for each letter.
Robot: I will take a T, Pat.
Pat: Do we have any Ts?
Vanna White: <does her thing>
Pat: We have one T.
Robot: I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat. "God's country ham"
<Music chimes in as Vanna does her thing again. Everyone else is starting to wonder when they'll get their turn since the robot is already up $24,000 after four rounds that all went too fast.>

Of course, if the computer were smart, it'd milk the puzzles it knew for all it could, rather than solving them immediately, given that Bankrupt is not a threat, but that makes for a much less interesting little vignette.

Re:Yeah, but . . . (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053966)

There's no $2000 space (only $2500) and the person who starts each round rotates as the game progresses. Also, I'm remembering the sound as having 3 tones instead of four, but maybe I'm wrong there. Forgive the nitpicks though; your comment was hilarious :).

Re:Yeah, but . . . (2)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052504)

wolfram, it can do single words with blanks, for cro__wo_ds

Re:Yeah, but . . . (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#35053974)

It always annoyed me that they didn't add in multiple word processing and the ability to say which letters have been guessed. Really, what kind of programmer just stops at a single word hangman solver? I'd feel terrible coding that.

Wolfram (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051360)

I thought Wolfram was called Tungsten in America?

Re:Wolfram (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051740)

It's also an English family name.

Re:Wolfram (1)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051770)

It will change once it goes beta.

Missing the point (2)

kyle5t (1479639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051372)

It's not really very interesting whether the facts needed to give an answer are contained in the first page of Google or Bing search results. The difficulty is in understanding what the clue is actually asking, and answering in a way that isolates the relevant information (in the form of a question, of course). And doing so very quickly, even when there is often clever use of language going on. The difference between an "average human" at 60% and Ken Jennings at 79% is huge! And it's not just about how large a base of knowledge you're working from.

Re:Missing the point (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051506)

Agreed. That's why I'm looking forward to Watson's performance on Jeopardy. I saw a little clip on Wired I believe and was really quite impressed.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35052384)

Of course none of these search engines nor Wolfram could play Jeopardy. It's one thing to try to come up with the exact specific answer that Jeopardy demands.

Even if it's in the first document returned, someone has to plow through it to find the answer and then decide if it's right or wrong.

You also have to have a good sense of when you know the correct answer and when you don't so you know when to try to buzz in. If you buzz in on every question and only know half of them, you will be slaughtered at Jeopardy.

known questions ... (1)

cdxta (1170917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051590)

..."We sampled randomly from the 200,000 or so Jeopardy clues that have been aired." let me guess the search text included site:j-archive.com how about you do the test without aired questions :)

I didn't realise Ask had improved so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051614)

And on several personal searches .... Yes they seem fairly relevant .

That's not how Jeopardy works (1)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051662)

Comparing the stats of search engines on every question to humans who only try to answer questions of their choosing, is misleading. Ken Jennings 79% success was on a self-selected subset of questions he thought he could answer correctly.

Re:That's not how Jeopardy works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35052262)

Comparing the stats of search engines on every question to humans who only try to answer questions of their choosing, is misleading. Ken Jennings 79% success was on a self-selected subset of questions he thought he could answer correctly.

I'll bet Jennings was way more than 79 percent accurate 4 out of 5) when he won the buzz and got to answer. No idea where Wolfram came up with that number.

Re:That's not how Jeopardy works (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35052752)

it was comparing apples to oranges in the first place as google/bing know ~100% of the answers its just that they misunderstand the questions

Duck Duck Go (2)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35051860)

I'm using Duck Duck Go [duckduckgo.com] more and more. I wonder how it would fare in this comparison... especially because I find it the best way to search Wikipedia.

It also happens to be great for privacy and a lack of a tracking [slashdot.org] .

How would he do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35051948)

I wish he included Wolfram Alpha in his search. Actually I bet he did and he came in 4th or something and decided not to mention it.

Interesting but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35052038)

What is Bing?

No current search engine can play Jeopardy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35052120)

Having the correct answer show up in the first document is hardly Watson-like. It still requires a person to plow through the document and find an answer and then determine if it's right or wrong.

Of course none of these search engines nor Wolfram could play Jeopardy. It's one thing to try to come up with the exact specific answer that Jeopardy demands. You also have to have a good sense of when you know the correct answer and when you don't so you know when to try to buzz in. If you buzz in on every question and only know half of them, you will be slaughtered at Jeopardy.

That's what differentiates Watson. It has a very good idea of what it knows and what it doesn't.

Bing licenses data from Wolfram Alpha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35052260)

He needs to work harder. After all, it's his product that's providing structured answers [bing.com] in Bing!

That's PR gold [bing.com] right there.

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