Intel and Search

September 5, 2008

True, this is a Web log posting, but I am interested in search thoughts from Intel or its employees. I found the post  “Why I Will Never Own and Electronic Book” interesting. I can’t decide whether the post is suggestive or naive. You can read the posted by Clay Breshears here. On the surface, Mr. Breshears is pointing out that ebook readers’ search systems are able to locate key words. He wants these generally lousy devices to sport NLP or natural language processing. The portion of the post that caught my attention was:

We need better natural language processing and recognition in our search technology.  Better algorithms along with parallel processing is going to be the key.  Larger memory space will also be needed in these devices to hold thesaurus entries that can find the link between “unemployed” and “jobless” when the search is asked to find the former but only sees the latter.  Maybe, just maybe, when we get to something like that level of sophistication in e-book devices, then I might be interested in getting one.

Intel invested some money in Endeca. Endeca gets cash, and it seems likely that Intel may provide Endeca with some guidance with regard to Intel’s next generation multi core processors. In year 2000, Intel showed interest in getting into the search business with its exciting deal with Convera. I have heard references to Intel’s interest in content processing. The references touch upon the new CPUs computational capability. Most of this horsepower goes unused, and the grape vine suggests that putting some content pre-processing functions in an appliance, firmware, or on the CPU die itself might make sense.

This Web log post may be a one-off comment. On the other hand, this ebook post might hint at other, more substantives conversations about search and content processing within Intel. There’s probably nothing to these rumors, but $10 million signals a modicum of interest from my vantage point in rural Kentucky.

Stephen Arnold, September 5, 2008

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