Smart is sexy

I’m happy about our new desktop search, but this is awfully cool. The more you can understand about the language on a page, the more you can do with that meaning to improve relevance. World-class machine translation makes me hot. :)

22 Responses to Smart is sexy (Leave a comment)

  1. I e-mailed the Google Blog team about this very subject. We’ve been teased a couple of times with the new translation stuff you guys are working on, but when can those of us not in the Googleplex get to test it out? Throw us a beta :). I realize you probably want to integrate it with everything, but even just a simple interface (like Sets) that allows us to translate individual phrases would rock.

  2. It looks like Google is on top of its stuff, really good. Any news on Spanish translation results?

  3. Nice time for Google.
    I hope the others will take the same road to increase the general level of thi market…

  4. I’m very happy with your new desktop search too! It works a treat for those of us with two screens, it’s as discreet as it is useful thanks to auto-dock.

    I imagine there’s useful information to be gleamed from “Translate this page into English” requests from the Google toolbar. I’m just guessing that if lots of English speaking users, searching in English, tend to click through from your search results to a high rank and then need the page translated then I imagine that might wave a “language issue” flag for you to look at.

    I think national spelling will be a good one to crack too. Even when I’m on http://www.google.co.uk and search for: search engine optimisation Google suggests, “Did you mean: search engine optimization”. Hurmph. I like America but I don’t like your spelling :) I really did mean optimisation with an s.

    I don’t have the same problem when I search for: colour of magic – and so I assume this is a sheer weight of numbers issue for the algorithm.

    (This post was spell checked by, guess what, the Google toolbar :) I swear the form spellchecker has made the blogoscope more pleasant for eyeballs around the Internet! My second favourite Google spellchecker is the deskbar and that now competes for space on my desktop with the desktop search.)

  5. Paul Avery

    Matt – I watched the Google Factory tour and saw the demonstration of the translation. Very impressive.

    Here’s a cool idea. Create a chat client and allow the user to have what they type translated on the fly. So two people not speaking the same language could have a meaningful conversation.

    Paul

  6. Hi Matt,

    Determining tools and systems for measuring relevance is very smart and sexy. Your post here says that understanding language on a page can bring “meanings” that help improve relevance. So true, and this definition of relevance elaborates more: http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?relevance .

    But, I’m curious about what you would think of many search marketing people on many different forums being given the challenge (broken down by catagory/topic) of trying to come up with ways of measuring relevancy. Danny Sullivan’s recent article: http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3527636 has a great challenge for search engines, but why not start out challenging many people who work with keywords and relevancy every day? After that, then the search engines could “Establish a research center, a consortium or something and a methodology that all will agree upon.” as Danny suggests. Getting all forum participants to agree on results would not need to happen, and it would surly get media attention on the more lofty goals of search engines.

    Bill Kelm

  7. How good is a score of 0.35 (out of 1.0) on the Chinese-to-English test? Do you have any samples of translations done by the Google system for the NIST test (along with the same thing translated by a human being)? I’m having trouble determining if the latest advances in the field of MT are merely academic, or if truly readable text is now being produced by these MT systems.

  8. We have been waiting to try it for a while but the problem appears that it is not compatible with NOD32 antivirus. This is a problem and has been ongoing for a while. It becomes more of a problem as we recommend NOD32 to most of our client base individuals and companies alike and some have asked us about using Goole’s desktop sidebar but because of the incompatibility with
    the antivirus they simply can’t.
    Will there be a fix for this soon?

    BTW: Good informative blog… keep it going.

  9. mingalababya

    I tried the translation service that Google has at http://www.google.com/language_tools translating a Chinese website into English. I’m qute impressed. Google did a much a better job translating that page than my mate did and mate’s Chinese! LOL!

  10. Vincent stated: “problem appears that it is not compatible with NOD32 antivirus”

    It is not just that antivirus, it is a whole number of other important applications as well. We were first alerted through nod and realised it was also not compatible with xfire or panda.
    How hard can it be to fix this?

    Thanks

    Lars

  11. grnidone

    You’re right, Matt. Smart *is* sexy. And I think you are very smart. HA~!

  12. does anybody know google phone number :)

  13. The google translate server is not always working.

  14. So google translator is the fastest?

  15. Boy, did your comment about Desktop 4 blow a lot of hours for me yesterday. I downloaded the new version and whenever I restarted my computer I got 6 or 7 “gadget failed to install” pop-up messages. Ultimately I restored my computer to an earlier date. Reinstalled it again and had to restore again.

    Did a search and found a person who had same problem with gadgets. He was advised (by Google I believe) to delete his desktop datafiles because the problem was being caused by corrupted desktop datafile – then to reinstall desktop search. He did as advised, reinstalled the program and “failed to install gadget” pop-ups were still there.

    At that point I decided to just stick with the restore and forget 4.0. My destop datafile is important to me. Did a ;lot of searching looking for answers but found nothing. I’m looking into my firewall settings to see if that is what is causing the problem, or some other similar blocking program.

    If you have a clue or about this issue, or can point me somewhere I would appreciate it. Thanks, Tom M

  16. Yep, Desktop 4.0 needs a windows firewall exception for Google Desktop search. Problem solved.

    Old version didn’t have gadgets downloading or updating from where ever. Works perfectly now. Got thrown off because old destop search didn’t have any problems. Maybe some fool who had problems like me will find this post and solve the same problem. I had to navigate to the programs folder and find the program under the Google folder. Firewall didn’t have Desktop listed right after install before I restarted in the list of programs to check for an exception.

    Google might help people by telling them about this requirement when they install the new Desktop version. Tom M

  17. Salomo

    I have the similar problem with the Finnish version (in Finnish “gadget failed to install” is displayed “Gadgetin asennus epäonnistui”. I put it here, in case some other Finnish speaking finds this thourgh web search, that only presents this blog in the search results).

    I have Zone Alarm (newest version 6.5.737.000) but despite allowing the Desktop to access the web in Zone alarm the popup appears. Perhaps there is something to do with Virus Protection.. (F-Secure). I don’t know. I don’t have this problem with my other computer with Symantec Antivirus… (it has the same version of Zonealarm although).

    So, there are still people who are having similar problems, and the proposed solution doesn’t yet provide sufficient help.

    Anyway, thanks guys already!

  18. google translator is the fastest

  19. love using and exploring Google

  20. google translator works great, but they still have some work for different language…I’m thinking about french ;-) for example

  21. but the GOOGLE machine translation still has problem . like translation to Chinese and Japanese . The translation result many time not good . Can only guess the rough meaning . But still it is helpful .

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