Google Semantic Search of Wikipedia

I was just googling and came across something I’ve never seen before. The first result for “bill gates children” was “Bill Gates — Children: 3” with an attribution to wikipedia.

Google Semantic Search?

I couldn’t repeat the result searching for the children of other public figures, but then I tried “Bill Gates born”, and got another semantic result from Wikipedia:

google semantic search?

The born search works for lots of public figures, like Elvis and Nixon.

This really surprised me, especially since I haven’t seen anyone else talking about it. I wonder if this is a response to microsoft’s recent acquistion of Powerset and an answer to those wondering whether the Microsoft/Powerset combo would beat Google.

Searching Powerset for “Bill Gates Born” delivers a similar looking result as the top item. (Update: I just noticed that Powerset’s summary result is actually from Freebase. Dumb that I didn’t notice, because my first thought was that that was where Google was pulling their info from.

1 thought on “Google Semantic Search of Wikipedia

  1. Mathias Schindler

    The feature is rather old. Basically every Wikipedia information that is stored in a template information can be queried that way:

    Try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD

    The template reads:

    {{Infobox media
    |name=HD DVD
    |logo=[[Image:HD-DVD.svg|200px|HD DVD logo]]
    |image=
    |type=High-density [[optical disc]]
    |encoding=[[VC-1]], [[H.264]], and [[MPEG-2]]
    |capacity=15 [[Gigabyte|GB]] (single layer)30 [[Gigabyte|GB]] (dual layer)
    |read=1× @ 36 [[Megabit per second|Mbit/s]] & 2× @ 72 Mbit/s
    |write=
    |standard=
    |owner=[[DVD Forum]]
    |use=Data storage, including [[high-definition video]]
    |extended from=
    |extended to=
    }}

    http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=16c&q=HD+DVD+capacity&btnG=Search

    HD DVD — Capacity: 15 GB (single layer) and 30 GB (dual layer)
    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD

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