Google has just gone public with the details of a new artificial intelligence called RankBrain, which the search giant is using to handle difficult queries. The system is being used on what one Google research scientist calls a “very large fraction” of the search queries handled by Google. RankBrain helps Google decipher the approximately 15% of phrases that the search engine has not encountered before, Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg’s Jack Clark, who spoke with Google research scientist Greg Corrado about the new AI service, explained that “if RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”
According to Corrado, RankBrain has become the third most important signal determining what search results a user sees. In 2014, Fast Company took a look at Google’s artificial intelligence research efforts.