Hakia – Searching Semantically
Hakia is a new search engine, still in beta, that allows you to search using natural language. The first thing I thought of was Ask Jeeves but it seems to be quite a bit different.
When you have a search engine that prompts you to ‘search for meaning’ you have to play with it before conducting any serious searches. So I typed in ‘what is the meaning of life’.
The response was pretty good:
Brilliant query indeed. How about: Even those people who state that “life has no meaning” do not contradict the present definition.
And it provided a link to this page. The first ten results were definitely on topic.
So I typed in: ‘how do I keep my dog from chewing my slippers’?
Again, the reply was good:
Dog toys can prevent boredom, separation anxiety, and keep your dog from chewing on things he shouldn’t, like your slippers.
And a link to this informative page. And again, the SERPs were pretty good. Better than Google’s results. When I asked whether Santa Claus was real though, I got a link to The Politics Blog in which the phrase ‘santa claus is real’ was present. Not too good. The SERPs however, were similar to Google’s.
Anyway, play around with Hakia a bit. My kids are writing down questions they want to ask as I write this. Things like, ‘Am I still grounded from the phone’ and ‘will Dad kill me for bringing home a ‘D’…
The technology still seems to be simple phrase matching with some word relationship analysis and some ontology smarts thrown in but the matches seem to be good ones. I haven’t run across any total failures yet but I haven’t had time to play with it much.