Monday, September 13

Google Scribe: Autocomplete beyond queries

Overshadowed by the Google Instant last week, a labs project called Google Scribe was launched. See some information on the help page.

Here is an example what it did with the initial words and accepting all further suggestions:

Jeff Dalton is a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley...

An amusing example. I'm actually quite surprised it autocompleted "researcher" correctly. However, Scribe got the university wrong. It looks like UC Berkeley wins the web popularity contest.

Overall, Scribe appears to be a straightforward application of web n-gram language models covered in an AJAX interface. Some of its mistakes demonstrate the drawbacks of not utilizing long range word dependencies and topical context. Still, an interesting step towards more autocompletion. I think there may be interesting opportunities to improve effectiveness by leveraging custom language models built from my other documents and web history.

1 comment:

  1. It's a nice zippy implementation.

    This is the kind of thing that's commonly used in tools for people with speaking and typing disabilities.

    Given that it's also the basis of a lot of large-vocabulary speech recognizers, there's a vast literature out there.