Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

Announced at TED2018: Google’s new TalkToBooks search

Here onstage at TED2018, futurist Ray Kurzweil has just formally announced a new way to query the text inside books using something called semantic search — which is a search on ideas and concepts, rather than specific words. Called TalkToBooks, the beta-stage product uses an experimental AI to query a database of 120,000 books in about a half a second. (As Kurzweil jokes: “It takes me hours to read a hundred thousand books.”)

Jump in and play with TalkToBooks »

Kurzweil suggests some questions to ask it:

How can I stop thinking and fall asleep?
What is the meaning of life?
How does eating fiber help you lose weight?
Why is the Turing test important?

Some answers are relevant, and others, while maybe not quite correct, intriguingly reveal the way the machine “thinks,” the kinds of connections it wants to make. If you want to dig further, read this blog post from Google’s Semantic Experiences group, and this detailed coverage from The Verge.

TED Blog

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