One new search engine is so confident in its technology that it thinks it could buy Google, and not the other way around.

In development for four years and only now, at CES 2016, out of so-called “stealth mode” in which the company said not a peep to the press, Omnity is a new kind of search engine that asks the question: What if, instead of searching for keywords like “baseball scores” or “best-rated Nintendo 64 games,” a search engine let users search across disparate documents, from Wikipedia pages and news articles to patent filings and PDFs, in order to find shared interconnectedness?

“What this lets users do is avoid the tyranny of taxonomy,” said Omnity CEO Brian Sager at a Tuesday evening CES event called Digital Experience. “We probably should trademark that,” he then joked.


Sager explained that when Omnity searches across documents, it throws out “grammatical glue but semantic noise”—commonly used words like “the,” “he,” “she,” or “it.” Stripped of this “noise,” Omnity is then able to analyze the remaining “rare words” to find common threads that link together different documents.

"What this lets users do is avoid the tyranny of taxonomy"

In one example, Sager searched for documents related to the news article headline “CEO Exits After Mutual Fund Implodes,” at which point Omnity pulled up related Wikipedia and NPR articles and a patent application that the company had filed. In another example, Omnity was asked to find more information about Ford becoming an information technology company. “If you wanted to find more information on this topic what would you look for?” asked Sager. “Keywords like Ford? Technology? Car? What would you get? Here, Omnity is able to analyze the words in that article to pull up further articles on topics like Ford’s progress with self-driving cars, its Palo Alto research lab, and a patent application.”

If you ask Sager, this new kind of search in which users take entire documents and look for semantic meaning rather than merely matching pre-cooked keywords has the potential to upend the very idea of “search,” just as Google did when it launched in 1998, particularly in fields like academic and legal research and fact-checking.

“We don’t view ourselves as being complementary and not competitive with Google,” said Sager. Reading between the lines, when I asked if this meant Omnity was merely looking to be snapped up by Google, providing a nice financial return for its investors, Sager laughed off the assertion with a bold claim likely to generate sharp interest in the company.

“I use Google every day and it’s great, but no, we’re more likely to buy Google.”

Source : http://motherboard.vice.com/read/semantic-search-engine-omnity-reckons-it-can-beat-google

Categorized in Search Engine

When it comes to search, there's Google and there's everyone else -- the company is basically synonymous with searching the internet. But Omnity, a relatively new company from San Francisco, thinks own search that's based on "semantic mapping" offers something that Google can't do. Omnity's trick is that it looks for the connections between documents on the internet based on rare words -- the theory that research that has several of the same rare words will likely be about related topics, even if that research doesn't directly link to or cite each other.

Thus far, Omnity has operated primarily by selling enterprise plans to companies and educational institutions. Omnity can search not only all of the public datasets it scans (like patents, scientific, engineering and medical documents, clinical trials, case law, SEC filings and so forth) but also a company's internal documents -- for some companies, Omnity indexes 150 petabytes of data.

That may be useful to massive institutions, but plenty of ordinary people could benefit from Omnity's research features -- so today, the company has announced that anyone can search the public databases it indexes for free. Omnity groups the free datasets into four groups: biomedicine, engineering, finance and law, and each set pulls from a wide variety of publicly available sources. Previously, the company offered limited demo searches for free, but now anyone can look up whatever they want.

Once you've signed up for a free Omnity account, you can initiate a search by typing in the Google-like search bar. You'll be served up results grouped by primary sources (those directly related to your query) and secondary sources (documents that share key vocabulary with the primary documents). From there, Omnity offers lots of different ways of visualizing the connections between various documents so you can see what's most potentially related before diving down the research long tail.

There are a lot of ways to extend your search from there, including clicking a word cloud to see specific documents containing those words or seeing a map which shows where the research originated. But one of Omnity's most interesting features is that you can upload documents of your own for it to analyze. Once the document is uploaded, it'll automatically look for those "rare words" and find other documents in its databases that match up with the one you added yourself. It's worth noting that those documents you upload stay private to you -- they aren't added to Omnity's overall database.

This adds up to a search tool that's decidedly not for your average, day-to-day basic informational queries. But, if you work in a field and spend lots of time going down the rabbit hole of the internet, it's entirely possible Omnity can reveal documents that you might have otherwise missed using a traditional keyword-based search engine like Google.

Students and researchers alike may find the tool useful -- and now that it's fully open and free, there's no reason not to give it a shot. And Omnity expects this free version to serve as a good proof-of-concept for its work with larger enterprise companies. If a company or university gets hooked on the free version, it'll probably be a lot easier for Omnity to show them the benefits of its paid service.

Auhtor : Nathan Ingraham


Categorized in Online Research

The Washington Post reports that a new search engine called Omnity is on the way, which is targeted at researchers and students. Not only is it being recognized for unique features that Google doesn’t offer, many publications are calling it “smarter than Google.”

Reports indicate that Omnity separates itself from the pack by serving up results which best match the search term entered in. There’s also the added capability of indicating how those results relate to one another.

If you’re researching a subject you know little about, for example, you can type it in as a search term and immediately see which resources are getting cited the most.In addition you can see who has conducted the most influential research on the subject as well as which university is leading when it comes to research on that subject.

Omnity will pull information from a variety of sets of data including: SEC filings, publicly available news, organizational reports, scientific journals, financial reports, and legal histories.

Alternatively, you can input your own data sources. For example, you can upload a piece of your own research, or some research papers found elsewhere, and the search engine will return the links to other resources that are relevant but not directly cited in sources you’ve uploaded. With this feature, you can easily find you can find unique sources of information to add to your research.

The Washington Post argues that Omnity overcomes one of the problems of modern search engines, which is the fact that today search engines are based on keywords. With that being the case, today search engines can only return results if the keywords in the title of the page match what’s being search for.  Omnity improves on the current search model by scanning through the entirety of a document.


The Post concedes that Omnity is not likely to overtake Google at any point in time, but niche search engines still have a place in the market. As search  continues to evolve, we may see Omnity being used in a way we can’t predict at this time. The Washington Post gives the example of niche search engine Wolfram Alpha, originally marketed as a computational search engine, now helps to power a search giant known as Siri.

It’s worth keeping an eye on new search engines like this because it’s an indication of where other search engine's might be going. It also demonstrates how our search habits are changing over time.

Author:  Matt Southern

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Categorized in Search Engine

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