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Source: This article was published windowscentral.com By DAN THORP-LANCASTER - Contributed by Member: Olivia Russell

Microsoft's visual search is graduating from beta, now rolling out for everyone on iOS.

following a short period of beta testingMicrosoft Edge is now rolling out an intelligent visual search for everyone. The addition brings the iOS version of the app up to par with its Android counterpart, which picked up a visual search in June. But beyond that, there are a few other neat features tagging along in this update as well, including paste-and-search and the option to choose from more default search engines.

 

As for the highlight feature of this update, visual search lets you quickly snap a photo or choose one from your camera roll, then search the internet for information based on whatever you snapped. Microsoft is talking up the feature's usefulness for shopping, helping to track down items of clothing, for example, that you like. That's also bolstered by a built-in barcode scanner, which can be used to find deals on items. Visual search can be used to find more information on landmarks around you as well.

Here's a full look at all of what's new in this update:

  • Intelligent visual search gives you a cool new way to find contact info, identify landmarks, or find similar images based on a photo
  • Support paste and go/search in address bar
  • Choose from more default search engine options
  • Performance improvements

And if you're signed in with a work or school account, there are a few other goodies to check out:

  • See your organization's home page
  • Securely access intranet sites from home
  • See mobile browser activity on your PC's timeline

If you're giving Microsoft Edge a shot on your iPhone or iPad, you can check out all of these new features by grabbing the latest update from the App Store now.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Ron Miller - Contributed by Member: Jennifer Levin

If you have an essential Internet of Things device running Windows 10 IoT Core Service, you don’t want to be worried about security and OS patches over a period of years. Microsoft  wants to help customers running these kinds of devices with a new program that guarantees 10 years of updates.

The idea is that as third-party partners build applications on top of the Windows 10 IoT Core Services, these OEMs, who create the apps, can pay Microsoft to guarantee updates for these devices for a decade. This can help assure customers that they won’t be vulnerable to attack on these critical systems from unpatched applications.

The service does more than provide updates though. It also gives OEMs the ability to manage the updates and assess the device’s health.

 

“The Windows IoT Core service offering is enabling partners to commercialize secure IoT devices backed by industry-leading support. And so device makers will have the ability to manage updates for the OS, for the apps and for the settings for OEM-specific files,” Dinesh Narayanan, director of business development for emerging markets explained.

It gives OEMs creating Windows-powered applications on machines like healthcare devices or ATMs this ability to manage them over an extended period. That’s particularly important as these devices tend to have a more extended usage period than say a PC or tablet.”We want to extend support and commit to that support over the long haul for these devices that have a longer life cycle,” Narayanan said.

Beyond the longevity, the service also provides customers with access to the Device Update Center where they can control and customize how and when the devices get updated. It also includes another level of security called Device Health Attestation that allows the OEMs to evaluate the trustworthiness of the devices before they update them using a third party service.

All of this is designed to give Microsoft a foothold in the growing IoT space and to provide an operating system for these devices as they proliferate. While predictions vary dramatically, Gartner has predicted that at least 20 billion connected devices will be online in 2020.

While not all of these will be powered by Windows, or require advanced management capabilities, those that do can be assured if their vendor uses this program that they can manage the devices and keep them up-to-date. And when it comes to the Internet of Things, chances are that’s going to be critical.

Categorized in Internet of Things

Searching for a different perspective

Unless we specifically disable them, trackers are constantly watching us move around the web, building up a picture of our interests and biases. Then, algorithms reflect these opinions back at us, presenting us with news, articles, and answers that support what we already think.

We're more likely to click things that fit our existing thoughts and interests – but wouldn't objectivity be better?

Jordi Ribas, corporate vice president of AI products at Bing, thinks so Ribas manages Microsoft's search engine from its headquarters in the US, but lived in the UK for three and a half years while he established the Bing team in Europe.

"Obviously as a search engine, our mission is the provide results that are as comprehensive, as objective and as trustworthy as possible," Ribas told TechRadar. "If anything, in a world of fake news and misinformation on the web, I think objectivity in search couldn’t be more important."

 

Identifying multi-perspective questions

To that end, Bing has launched a new feature called Intelligent Answers. When you enter a question with several valid answers, the search engine summarizes them all in a carousel to give a balanced overview.

Intelligent Answer result in Bing
 
Ask it whether coffee is good for you and Bing will realize there are two main sentiments – both expressed by authoritative sources – and present them both as Intelligent Answers

"Sometimes there's a single answer for a query, but sometimes we’re able to understand and identify that there are multiple perspectives," said Ribas. "We use advanced AI techniques based on deep learning that essentially read the entire web, then try to find which passage or set of passages are most relevant to that question. With machine reading comprehension or MRC, we are sometimes able to identify multiple perspectives, where multiple sources converge into the same answer."

Identifying questions with multiple answers involves several techniques, including sentiment analysis, which identifies the opinions expressed in a piece of text – positive, negative or neutral.

Our mission is the provide results that are as comprehensive, as objective and as trustworthy as possible

Jordi Ribas

"Take a simple query like ‘Is coffee good for you?’" said Ribas. "There are plenty of reputable sources that tell you that there are good reasons for drinking coffee, but there are also some very reputable ones that say the opposite. Deep learning allows us to project multiple queries in the passages to what we call the semantic space and find the matches.

 

"Then we find that there are documents that cluster separately when you apply the sentiment analysis technique. There’s a set of documents that cluster towards positive reasons for coffee and some that cluster around negative reasons for coffee. If we find that there are authoritative sources on both, then we realise that this question really deserves a multi-perspective answer. And that’s what we call it."

Bursting the bubble

Although the Intelligent Answers might challenge our expectations, Ribas says the response so far has been very positive.

"I think what’s happening today – because of a lot of the personalized feeds on the web, social media, trying to reinforce some of the same articles and the same information that users click on, people end up living in a bit of a bubble.

I feel like search engines have a responsibility to be more objective

Jordi Ribas

And so if you have certain political views, or you have certain biases, you interact with technology in a certain way, and then the algorithms learn that, and they end up reinforcing the same biases that you have. That’s what’s making society a little bit further apart these days, and it’s helping polarize society. I feel like search engines have a responsibility to be more objective, and ultimately our goal is to provide as trustworthy and objective information as we can."

Ribas says industry professionals are pleased with the results as well. "A lot of the feedback we got from analysts in the US was ‘Aha, finally someone is taking responsibility and taking a step forward, and not just saying the answer is negative because that’s what the algorithm tells us.’

"No, we need to work harder and invest in these more advanced algorithms that help us understand that a given question has multiple perspectives. We do feel that it is our responsibility to provide those perspectives, and kind of get people out of their bubble."

 

Intelligent Answers aren't influenced by your browsing history either, and don't contain any ads or 'sponsored' articles.

"The ads follow a different process," Ribas said. "In fact, even our ads team is separate from what we call the algorithmic team, and we have a specific location for ads. Usually it’s at the top of the page, as you can see, sometimes on the right rail, and we label them as ads. This part has no signal from ads whatsoever."

Feedback and the future

Intelligent Answers only form a small percentage of search results at the moment, but Ribas and his team are plans to build it up – though not too fast.

The danger of any algorithm that uses AI is that it will make mistakes sometimes.

Jordi Ribas

"We’re still learning a lot, and we’re still trying to improve it, and we also want to be cautious not to go overboard," he said. "We want to make sure that precision is high, because the danger of any algorithm that uses AI, since it’s a machine learning algorithm, is that it will make mistakes sometimes.

"We want to make sure that users have a quick way to tell us. We can take a look at what happened and how we can improve the algorithm. And so that’s why we started small, but you will see more coverage as time goes on."

You can offer feedback on Intelligent Answers (and any other aspect of Bing) using the link at the bottom of the results page, and the option might be made more prominent in future, appearing up alongside the answers themselves.

Intelligent Answers feedback

Bing is soliciting feedback on Intelligent Answers, and you can give your thoughts via a link at the bottom of the results page. The option might be made more prominent as IA rolls out more widely

You might soon see Intelligent Answers in other places too – including Cortana. "If you ask Cortana whether coffee is good for you, I think today Cortana probably doesn’t have an answer because there isn’t just one," Ribas said. "But every time you have a single answer at the top in Bing, that actually flows through Cortana, and so we’re working now so that Cortana would say ‘Actually, there are different perspectives on this. According to this source there a few things that coffee is good for, but according to this other source, if you drink too much coffee it can be harmful for you.’ And so that is definitely is in the works."

Hopefully the slow-but-steady approach means the team won't need too much caffeine to see them through late shifts.

 Source: This article was published techradar.com By Cat Ellis

Categorized in Search Engine

After hours spent scrolling through Google and pulling up endless clickbait results, you’re frustrated with the internet. You have a paper to write, homework to do and things to learn. You know you won’t get away with citing Wikipedia or Buzzfeed in your research paper. Even the big news engines aren’t scholarly enough. You need reputable sources for your homework, and you need them now.

With so many resources online, it’s hard to narrow it down and find ones that are not only reliable and useful, but also free for students. We’ve saved you the time and picked out our 15 best free search engines for research.

15 scholarly search engines every student should bookmark

1. Google Scholar

Google Scholar was created as a tool to congregate scholarly literature on the web. From one place, students have the ability to hunt for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.

2. Google Books

Google Books allows web users to browse an index of thousands of books, from popular titles to old, to find pages that include your search terms. Once you find the book you are looking for, you can look through pages, find online reviews and learn where you can get a hard copy.

 

3. Microsoft Academic

Operated by the company that brings you Word, PowerPoint and Excel, Microsoft Academic is a reliable, comprehensive research tool. The search engine pulls content from over 120 million publications, including scientific papers, conferences and journals. You can search directly by topic, or you can search by an extensive list of fields of study. For example, if you’re interested in computer science, you can filter through topics such as artificial intelligence, computer security, data science, programming languages and more.

4. WorldWideScience

WorldWideScience, which refers to itself as “The Global Science Gateway,” is operated by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information—a branch of the Office of Science within the U.S. Department of Energy. The site utilizes databases from over 70 countries. When users type a query, it hits databases from all over the world and will display both English and translated results from related journals and academic resources.

5. Science.gov

Science.gov is operated and maintained by the Office of Science and Technical Information, the same department that collaborates on WorldWideScience.org. This search engine pulls from over 60 databases, over 2,200 websites and 200 million pages of journals, documents and scientific data. Search results can be filtered by author, date, topic and format (text or multimedia).

6. Wolfram Alpha

A self-described “computational knowledge engine,” Wolfram Alpha does not so much provide search results as it does search answers. Simply type in a topic or question you may be interested in, such as, “What is the function of the pancreas?” and the answer will show up without making you scroll through pages of results. This is especially handy for those in need of math help.

7. Refseek

With its minimalist design, Refseek doesn’t look like much. However, the engine pulls from over one billion web pages, encyclopedias, journals and books. It is similar to Google in its functionality, except that it focuses more on scientific and academic results—meaning more results will come from .edu or .org sites, as well as online encyclopedias. It also has an option to search documents directly—providing easy access to PDFs of academic papers.

8. Educational Resources Information Center

Populated by the U.S. Department of Education, the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a great tool for academic research with more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of articles and online materials. ERIC provides access to an extensive body of education-related literature including journal articles, books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers and more. With more than eight million searches each month, it’s no wonder why this search engine is a great web source for education.

 

9. Virtual Learning Resources Center

The Virtual Learning Resources Center (VLRC) is an online index hosting thousands of scholarly websites, all of which are selected by teachers and librarians from around the globe. The site provides students and teachers with current, valid information for school and university academic projects using an index gathered from research portals, universities and library internet subject guides recommended by teachers and librarians.

10. iSeek

iSeek is a great search engine for students, teachers and administrators alike. Simply ask a question or enter search topics or tools, and iSeek will pull from scholastic sources to find exactly what you are looking for. The search engine is safe, intelligent and timesaving—and it draws from trusted resources from universities, government and established non-commercial sites.

11. ResearchGate

ResearchGate is a unique social networking site for scientists and researchers. Over 11 million researchers submit their work, which totals more than 100 million publications, on the site for anyone to access. You can search by publication, data and author, or you can even ask the researchers questions. Though it’s not a search engine that pulls from external sources, ResearchGate’s own collection of publications provides a hearty selection for any inquisitive scholar.

12. BASE

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) prides itself as being “one of the world’s most voluminous search engines especially for academic web resources.” Utilizing 4,000 sources, the site contains results from over 100 million documents. The advanced search option allows users to narrow their research—so whether you’re looking for a book, review, lecture, video or thesis, BASE can provide the specific format you need.

 

13. Infotopia

Infotopia describes itself as a “Google-alternative safe search engine.” The academic search engine pulls from results that have been curated by librarians, teachers and other educational workers. A unique search feature allows users to select a category, which ranges from art to health to science and technology, and then see a list of internal and external resources pertaining to the topic. So if you don’t find what you’re looking for within the pages of Infotopia, you will probably find it in one of its many suggested sites.

14. PubMed Central

This site is perfect for those studying anything related to healthcare or science. PubMed Central is operated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The database contains more than 3 million full-text journal articles. It’s similar to PubMed Health, which is specifically for health-related research and studies, and includes citations and abstracts to more than 26 million articles.

15. Lexis Web

Researching legal topics? Lexis Web is your go-to for any law-related inquiries you may have. The results are drawn from legal sites, which can be filtered by criteria such as news, blog, government and commercial. Users can also filter results by jurisdiction, practice area, source and file format.

Start searching

Pulling up an Internet search might be second nature to you by now. But a little forethought into where you begin your hunt can make your life much easier. Save yourself the time wading through basic Google search results and utilize some of these tools to ensure your results will be up to par with academic standards.

Do you know of any useful educational search engines that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: This article was published rasmussen.edu By Anna Heinrich

Categorized in Search Engine

How Top Stories Today gamed the system

Over the course of the last several years, every major social platform has been plagued by fake news. Now Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, has a fake news problem of its own.

Because of how the search engine’s autofill feature works, people who visit Bing looking for news videos may be redirected to a flood of fake news videos, all generated by a single source. You can see how it works for yourself: click on the “News” tab from Bing’s homepage. The page autofills the search bar with “Top stories.” Now travel to any other search tab, including “Maps” or “Images” and you’ll see that the search bar retains the “Top stories” query. Autofilling “Top stories” into the search bar appears to be an innocuous design decision — until you hit the “Video” tab.

There, you’ll see a wall of videos including “Breaking: Germany demands immediate prosecution of Obama”; “The Royal wedding in jeopardy,” and “Russian is about to take out Obama permanently.” Many of the videos promote moves made by President Donald Trump, and offer criticism of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Collectively, the videos have earned 83.6 million views.

 

And every video comes from one YouTube account: Top Stories Today, an account which appears to have been designed to game Bing’s design. The channel is devoted to promoting false and sensationalized news videos narrated by synthesized voices, which often speak in a kind of gibberish. “We report the genuine news and circumstances occurring the world over,” reads the account’s “about” page on YouTube. “Genuine Reports that the predominant press doesn’t need you to think about! We are your #ONE source for the most vital world event and stories happening every day!”

In content and in tone, Top Stories Today’s videos are reminiscent of the hoaxes that spread virally on Facebook and other platforms during the 2016 election.

“As soon as we become aware of this type of content, we take action to remove it from news search results, which we are doing in this case,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in a statement. A message sent to Top Stories Today was not returned.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By Casey Newton

Categorized in Search Engine

Following Google’s removal of the “view image” button from its image search results last week, several users will move to other browsers like Microsoft’s Bing and Startpage that allow download of high-resolution images with a right-click, media reported.

Google, after signing a multi-year global licensing deal with Getty Images, removed the “view image” button – a move set to curb the lifting of copyrighted images from its platform.

According to a BBC report, critics said the changes were “awful”, “user-unfriendly” and “degraded the product”.

“This is a terrible idea… You find an image on Google Images only for the image to be nowhere in sight. Talk about destroying your own successful service,” one user tweeted.

Several users suggested people should try rival image search engines such as Bing which still has a “view image” button.

 

“Others pointed out that right-clicking an image in Google’s Chrome browser, and clicking ‘open image in new tab’ replicated the missing function,” the report added.

if you were a frequent user of the feature, you can still get a similar experience through another search engine called Startpage.

“The browser is focused on privacy and provides Google’s search results but with no targeted ads and more privacy,” the report said on Monday.

Media reports said that Google will make copyright attribution and disclaimers more prominent in image search results.

“The change is essentially meant to frustrate users. Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures, and the removal of the view image button is one of many changes being made in response,” said The Verge.

Websites sometimes disable the ability to right-click, too, which would make it even harder for someone to grab a photo they’re looking for.

In addition to removing the ‘view image’ button, Google has also removed the ‘search by image’ button that appeared when people opened up an image.

Meanwhile, adding a simple extension to the Chrome browser could bring the button back.

According to The Next Web, “ViewImage” extension re-implements the Google Images’ “View Image” and “Search by Image” buttons.

“ViewImage” adds the “Search by Image” and “ViewImage” buttons back to the Google images results page and the code for this extension is available on web-based hosting service GitHub.

Users simply need to install this browser extension in Chrome or Opera and they would see the button back where it was.

Source: This article was published thestatesman.co

Categorized in Search Engine

Your iPhone may be an Apple product, but it can still run your favorite Google and Microsoft apps.

Just because you prefer the curved aesthetics of the iPhone doesn't mean you want to buy entirely into the Apple software ecosystem. After all, Google and Microsoft make iOS apps that are just as good as Apple's defaults. Although some apps require a few extra steps to replace the built-in versions, you can make the switch relatively easily, especially if you already use Google or Microsoft for your email and other cloud services.

Here, we'll guide you through the apps you need for the swap and how to download them. While you can always switch back to the Apple versions, you may find that you don't want to.

Switch to Microsoft

If your computer runs Windows, you own a Surface laptop or tablet, or you simply like Microsoft products, you'll probably enjoy the company's iOS apps. Instead of using the default versions of iPhone's email, cloud storage, and other services, here's how to replace them with Microsoft apps.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Start with your email client: You'll need to download Outlook for iOS. On top of email, it handles your calendars and contacts, and it can work with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft (like, say, Apple) user accounts. To import any emails, calendars, or contacts into the app, tap the menu button on the top left, then the settings button (the cog icon), and choose Add account.

 

Calls and messaging

Skype for iOS can take care of all your video calling, voice calling, and messaging needs. However, Apple's mobile platform won't allow any app to take over SMS duties, so you're stuck with its Messages app. Still, the newly-revamped Skype app has a clean look and a comprehensive set of features that includes group chats and group video calls. Your only problem might be getting your friends to use it.

Cloud storage

You can also replace Apple's cloud-storage program iCloud with Microsoft's OneDrive. When you install the app for iOS, it will sync files between your phone and any computer, Windows or macOS, that has the OneDrive desktop client installed. OneDrive also backs up all the photos and videos on your phone, although you do have to pay for storage space if you've got a lot of files. Prices start at $2 a month.

AI assistant

As with Messages, you can't completely replace the iPhone's default digital assistant: When you press and hold the Home button, Siri is the AI that will launch. However, you can install Cortana for iOS and launch it manually, then direct all your queries to Microsoft's app instead of Apple's. You can also sync any reminders and notes you've made in Cortana for Windows or Android over to your iPhone.

Office suite

For your work needs, you'll need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Swap Apple's free Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote apps for, respectively, Microsoft's free WordExcel, and PowerPoint apps.

If you've already created documents in the Apple apps, you'll need to convert them to a format that Microsoft's versions can understand. To do so, open a file, then tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and pick the Microsoft format. You can also choose how to export the file, either sending it via email or saving it to the iPhone's local storage.

Web browser

If you install the Microsoft Edge web browser on your iPhone, you'll be able to sync bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and more with an Edge browser you use on a Windows PC. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't let any browser oust Safari as the default one on iOS. So when you tap on links in other apps, such as Facebook, they'll automatically open in Safari instead of Edge.

Your iPhone should be fairly well Microsoft-ized by now, but for the finishing touch, install Bing Search and Feed, which acts as a stripped-down web browser. Now that Microsoft Edge is available for iOS, Bing isn't quite as useful (we prefer Edge). But you can still use Microsoft's search engine to look for websites, images, news, and more. The app also includes a basic map-search feature, though Microsoft doesn't offer a dedicated mapping app for iOS.

Switch to Google

If you've decided to take the Google route rather than the Microsoft one, start with its signature feature: the Google search app. In addition to searching the internet and Google Maps, it provides a feed of news and other information that Google curates based on your previous activity, such as your Chrome browsing history. For a more natural, conversational approach to Google search, install the Google Assistant as well.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Next, install Gmail for iOS or Google's other email app, Inbox, which provides more automation and smart features. You can pick up your Gmail activity right where you left off on any of your other devices. Alternatively, connect Gmail to your Apple email address: Tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), then your username, then Manage accounts, then Add account, and finally choose iCloudfrom the list.

You can also use your Gmail account to log into Google Calendar for iOS. The slick and easy-to-use calendar app is just as good on iPhones as it is on the web and everywhere else. It will, of course, sync all your Google events and appointments, and you can add your Apple calendars as well. To do so, tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), pick Settings, tap Manage accounts, and turn the iCloudtoggle switch to on.

Calls and messaging

Again, Apple won't let you replace Messages as the default SMS app. But you can still manually use Google apps for the same purposes. Try Allo for text-based messaging, Duo for video calling, and Hangouts for messaging, phone calls, and video chats. While Hangouts remains the most comprehensive option, Google continues to add new features to Allo and Duo, so keep an eye on those apps as well.

Cloud storage

To back up your data, look no further than Google Drive, which will sync all your files with computers, other mobile devices, and your Google cloud locker. Drive also lets you save your Apple contacts to your Google account, even though Google doesn't offer a dedicated app for contacts: Open the menu (three lines on the top left), tap the cog icon, and hit Backup.

 

For larger files, specifically your iPhone photos and videos, Google Photos makes backing up a breeze. When you first install the app, it'll ask if you want to back up photos and videos. Say yes, and as long as you don't mind that it resizes your files (down to 16 megapixels for images and 1080p for videos), you can store an unlimited number of pictures and clips for free. If you want to keep your files at their original resolution, you can pay Google for extra space in the cloud, which starts at prices of $2 a month.

Office suite

Google has its own office apps for iOS, in the form of DocsSheets, and Slides. They interface seamlessly with the web versions, so you can keep creating and editing from anywhere.

If you've already created documents in the equivalent iOS apps, you may need to reformat them in order to open them with Google's apps. Launch the appropriate Apple app—Pages, Sheets, or Keynote—and then open the file you want to transfer. Next, tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and select the Google format option. Once you've exported the file, the appropriate Google app will be able to open it up.

Web browser

As mentioned previously, you can't completely replace Safari as the default browser on iOS. But you can still download Google Chrome for iOS and launch it manually when you want to explore the internet. Sign into the web browser with your Google account (it should prompt you to do so when you first open the app), and Chrome will carry over all of your bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and other data from your computer. Even if most links will open in Safari by default, you can at least make sure Gmail links open in Chrome: Open Gmail, choosing Settings from the left-hand menu, then selecting Google apps, followed by Chrome.

Maps

Google offers some types of iOS apps that Microsoft doesn't. For example, you can rely on Google Maps to get from A to B quickly and safely and find places of note nearby. If you use the app online or on an Android device, you know you'll also get features such as live traffic updates and a list of favorite "starred" locations. If you need live directions, try it in full-screen turn-by-turn navigation mode.

Music and video players

Finally, there's Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV, which can effectively replace everything that iTunes and Apple Music usually do on an iPhone. They let you stream music, films, and television shows and even download content for offline access. What you can't do is purchase new content right from iOS, so if you're buying or renting something new, you need to pay up on a computer or other device before the content shows up on your iPhone.

 

Source: This article was published popsci.com By David Nield

Categorized in How to

Google may be the household name when it comes to search, but Microsoft is hoping it can make its Bing search engine the smartest. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has announced a handful of new features that it says are powered by artificial intelligence. The updates will start rolling out on Wednesday and will continue over the coming week.

The biggest changes enable Bing to be smarter about the information it chooses to display above search results in response to a query. The search engine will now be able to pull information from multiple sources, rather than just one. If a user has a question or request with opposing answers or viewpoints, Bing will be able to aggregate both perspectives and display them at the top of the page.

 

One example of where users might see this is when typing in a query like “side effects of coffee.” Once Microsoft’s updates start to kick in, Bing will be able to pull bits of information from more than one source and show them alongside one another above results, so that users can see both angles without having to dig through a list of links. Google currently answers this type of question with a featured snippet, which is an informational block that sums up an answer with information extracted from a web page.

Similarly, if a search query involves some type of comparison, such as “yoga vs. pilates,” Bing will surface an information box that breaks down the differences between the two terms, rather than grabbing a snippet from an article. Microsoft’s Project Brainwave initiative, a platform for boosting real-time AI performance, provides the foundation for these additions to Bing, the company says.

Microsoft is adding other features to Bing as well. One can identify individual objects within photos that appear in image search results so that users can shop for those items. Another enables Bing to offer clarifying questions based on a search query in order to help filter results more precisely.

The news comes as Google continues to frequently refine its own search engine. Just this month alone, Google updated its featured snippets section to include more images as well as launched a new program that allows celebrities to answer commonly asked questions in a search. These features may be different than the functions Microsoft is pursuing with Bing, but the two companies are undoubtedly working toward the same goal of helping provide relevant information quickly without forcing users to trove through reams of data available on the web.

 

Bing also only accounts for a sliver of search engine traffic: Google held 81% of search engine market share across desktop and mobile devices between Dec. 2016 and Nov. 2017, according to analytics firm NetMarketShare. Baidu placed in second with 7.82% of the market, while Bing landed in third with 5.72%. Google also has a major advantage when it comes to mobile, considering its search bar sits on the home screen of most popular Android phones, and Android is estimated to account for roughly 85% of worldwide smartphone shipments according to IDC projections. Microsoft, meanwhile, recently said it has doesn’t intend to release new Windows Phone products. Bing, however, is the default search engine on Microsoft’s Edge browser, which comes preinstalled on Windows 10 computers.

But Microsoft’s improvements to Bing are likely about much more than just trying to steal some attention away from Google’s massively popular search engine. Smarter search tools will be important as new tech platforms, like virtual assistants, augmented and virtual reality, and smart home devices continue to spread, particularly if they’re relying on search results and history to answer questions or learn more about a user’s habits. “Search is more pervasive in everything we do as we spend more time online,” says Michael Inouye, a principal analyst for ABI Research. “That digital profile that we have [online] is going to become more valuable, and search is a big part of that.”

Source: This article was published time.com By LISA EADICICCO

Categorized in Search Engine

As I mentioned in my look back at 2017, it seems so many of the companies talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are doing just that, talking. We’re at the early end of the curve. Further proof of that is the contest Microsoft MSFT -0.74% announced: the Cloud AI Challenge, offering a $25,000 prize for creating case studies. The contest is aimed at “university researchers, students, and employees of public and private organizations to participate. Your team will create a working, interactive software application, in any domain, as long as it’s an intelligent system using data and the Microsoft AI platform.” Notice how the initial focus is on the academic setting.

AI will have an enormous impact on business and our lives. The key to remember is that for most of us the tense is critical. It’s “will” and not that soon. Robotics is most advanced, changing manufacturing for decades, and will accelerate. Voice systems, as shown by advanced in Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon Alexa and others, will also move quickly into customer support and other voice response arenas. Vision technology is advancing but will rely on underlying hardware advances (in mobile GPUs that handle faster compute with less power/heat) before it advances much further.

 

Two areas that could drive some business interest for the challenge are in the areas of fraud detection and high-frequency trading (HFT). Fraud is always a major risk, and it happens at multiple levels. Machine learning can help detect fraud from the depths of network packets to analyzing consumer purchasing trends. Computer trading already happens faster than humans can track, and ML can have an impact on the two sides of HFT. First, it can add intelligence to the HFT systems, helping to prevent problems such as automated runs on stocks. Exchanges have had to add trade freezes to deal with them, but ML could help lower the likelihood of those problems occurring. On the other side, ML can help regulators better track not all trades, not just HFT, in order to better ensure trust in the market.

Decision systems seem to be likely to remain in the academic or proof-of-concept stages a bit longer, both for the more advanced analysis required and the slower pace of adoption of applications that impact strategic levels of business.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the competition, but it is another example of the need to separate hype from reality in so many things.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By David A.Teich

Categorized in Search Engine

Reddit posts will appear in Bing's search results, and its data will be piped into Power BI for marketers to track brand-related comments.

Microsoft is bringing the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” to the pages of its search results.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Reddit to pipe data from the social network into Bing’s search results, as well as Power BI’s analytics dashboard, the companies announced on Wednesday.

Now, when people search on Bing, posts published to Reddit may be included in the search results. For example, if a person’s query asks something like “what were the best video games released in 2017,” answers may be sourced from comments left in Reddit’s “gaming” subreddit or topic-specific forum.

 

People will also be able to use Bing to specifically search for content from Reddit. Typing “reddit [subreddit name]” will return a link to that subreddit and a selection of top comments that have been posted to it. And typing “reddit AMAs” will return a collection of popular AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) sessions, which are live question-and-answer forums that people can host on Reddit. Additionally, if people search for the name of a person who has a hosted an AMA on Reddit, a selection of responses from the Q&A session will appear among the non-Reddit results.

In addition to bringing Reddit’s data to Bing users, Microsoft is also opening that data up to brands. Brands will be able to access Reddit data through Microsoft’s Power BI analytics tool, with options to specify the keywords to track and toggle the time frames to examine. As a result, marketers will be able to monitor what people are saying about their brand or competing brands on Reddit and have that information processed using Power BI’s sentiment analysis feature and plotted into data visualizations.

The deal with Microsoft’s Power BI is similar to one that Reddit announced with social marketing platform Sprinklr last week in terms of accessing Reddit data. Brands will be able to see which subreddits they are mentioned on and then buy ads targeted those audiences.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Tim Peterson

Categorized in Search Engine
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