Hakia Takes On Google With Semantic Technologies

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Related Posts Tags:#search#web Throughout the interview, I noticed the word “semantic” wasbeing used a lot – but their interpretation seemed to be different to that of TimBerners-Lee, whose notion of a Semantic Web is generally what Web people thinkabout when uttering the ‘S’ word. Riza confirmed that their concept of semantictechnology is indeed different. He said that Tim Berners-Lee is banking oncertain standards being accepted by web authors and writers – which Riza said is“such a big assumption to start this technology”. He said that itforces people to be linguists, which is not a common skill.Furthermore, Riza told me that Berners-Lee’s Semantic Web is about“imposing a structure that assumes people will obey [and] follow”. Hesaid that the “entire Semantic Web concept relies on utilizing semantictagging, or labeling, which requires people to know it.” Hakia, he said,doesn’t depend on such structures. Hakia is all about analyzing the normallanguage of people – so a web author “doesn’t need to mess withthat”.CompetitorsApart from Google and the other big ‘indexing’ search engines, Hakia iscompeting against other semantic search engines like Powerset andhybrids like Wikia. Perhaps also Freebase – although Riza thinks the latter may be “old semanticweb” (but he says there’s not enough information about it to say for sure).ConclusionHakia plans to launch its version 1.0 (i.e. get out of beta) by the end of2007. As of now my assessment is the same as Alex’s was in December – it’s avery promising, but as yet largely unproven, technology. I also suspect that Google is much more advanced in search technology thanMountain View is letting on. Weknow that Google’s scale is a huge advantage, but their experiments with thingslike personalization and structured data (Google Base) show me that Google isalso well aware of the need to implement next-generation search technologies.Also, as Riza noted during the interview, who knows what Google is doing behindclosed doors. Will semantic technologies and ‘sentence analysis’ be the next wave ofsearch? It seems very plausible. So with a bit more development, Hakia couldwell become compelling to a mass market. Therefore how and when Google respondsto Hakia will be something to watch carefully. How is Hakia different from Ask.com?Hakia most reminds me of Ask.com, which uses more a natural language approachthan the other big search engines (‘ask’ a question, get an answer) – and alsoAsk.com uses human editing too, as with Hakia. [I interviewedAsk.com back in November]. So I asked Riza and Melek what isthe difference between Hakia and Ask.com?Riza told me that Ask.com is an indexing search engine and it has no semanticanalysis. Going one step below, he says to look at the basis of their results.Ask.com bolds keywords (i.e. it works at a keywords level), whereas Riza saidthat Hakia understands the sentence. He also said that Ask.com categories arenot meaning-based – they are “canned or prefixed”. Hakia, he said,understands the semantic relationships.Hakia vs GoogleI next referred Riza and Melek to Read/WriteWeb’sinterview with Matt Cutts of Google, in which Matt told me that Google isessentially already using semantic technologies, because the sheer amount ofdata that Google has “really does help us understand the meanings of wordsand synonyms”. Riza’s view on that is that Google works with popularityalgorithms and so it can “never have enough statistical material to handlethe Long Tail”. He says a search engine has to understand the language, inorder to properly serve the Long Tail.Moreover, Hakia’s view is that the vastness of data that Google has doesn’tsolve the semantic problem – Riza and Melek think there needs to be that semanticconnection present.Their bigger claim though is that the big search companies are still thinkingwithin an indexing framework (personalization etc). Hakia thinks thatindexing has plateaued and that semantic technologies will take over for the nextgeneration of search. They say that semantic technologies allow you to analyzecontent, which they think is ‘outside the box’ of what the big search companiesare doing. Riza admitted that it was possible Google was investigating semantictechnologies, behind closed doors. Nevertheless, he was adamant that the futureis understanding info, not merely finding it – which he said is a verydifficult problem to solve, but it’s Hakia’s mission.Semantic web and Tim Berners-Leecenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Thisweek I spoke to Hakia founder and CEO Dr. Riza C. Berkan and COO MelekPulatkonak. Hakia is one of the more promising Alt Search Enginesaround, with a focus on naturallanguage processing methods to try and deliver ‘meaningful’ search results.Alex Iskold profiledHakia for R/WW at the beginning of December and he concluded, after a numberof search experiments, that Hakia was intriguing – but it was not a level to competewith Google yet. It is important to note that Hakia is a relatively earlybeta product and is still in development. But given the speed of Internet time,3.5 months is probably a good time to check back and see how Hakia isprogressing…What is Hakia?Riza and Melekfirstly told me what makes Hakia different from Google. Hakia attempts toanalyze the concept of a search query, in particular by doing sentenceanalysis. Most other major search engines, including Google, analyze keywords.Riza and Melek told me that the future of search engines will go beyond keywordanalysis – search engines will talk back to you and in effect become your searchassistant. One point worth noting here is that, currently, Hakia still has some humanpost-editing going on – so it isn’t 100% computer powered at this point.Hakia has two main technologies:1) QDEX Infrastructure (which stands for Query Detection andExtraction)  – this does the heavy lifting of analyzing search queries at asentence level.2) SemanticRank Algorithm – this is essentially the science they use, made upof ontological semantics that relate concepts to each other.If you’re interested in the tech aspects, also check out hakia-Lab– which features their latest technology R&D. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img

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