Monday, January 16, 2012

Google Branch Here Making Global Impact

Ever think about how Google matches search results to those short cryptic phrases you type in? Professor Andrew Moore, director of Google Pittsburgh, does daily -- and so do members of his engineering team. The results of their deep thinking result in more relevant answers for you -- faster, too.

Yet, deep thinking, in a Google sense, doesn't mean just diving into a problem. Mr. Moore has hired a combination of people whose expertise is in computer systems as well as people who are heavy hitters in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. They provide him with two communities that he says have together come up with some of Google's biggest successes.

A good example is the ad-targeting system. When they started, Google executives were worried users would reject advertising because it represents not what users want to find but what others want them to find. Yet Google has developed a highly sophisticated approach to advertising that much of the population uses to find what it is looking for.

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