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Is Google’s Knowledge Vault Smarter Than Siri and Cortana?

In a head-to-head battle between Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Bing’s Cortana, Google wins hands down in providing the most useful answers, according to a new study.

Google has been developing its Knowledge Vault, a system that uses machine learning to turn data into digestible knowledge using a new algorithm that automatically assembles information from all over the Web, for some time now. In order to see just how effective this technology is, SEO consulting agency Stone Temple conducted a test in which it analyzed 3,086 different queries that may trigger a knowledge panel (meaning content in the search results that directly answers a question asked in a search query). It then compared them across all three platforms. All queries in the test were voice search, instead of text-based search.

The study data reveals that as of October 4, 2014 (note that all search engines make changes in their search results on an ongoing basis), 58 percent of queries run on Google Now show some type of enhanced result (knowledge boxes on the right of the search page, knowledge panels in the main column, or structured snippets), compared to 29 percent on Siri and 20 percent on Cortana. In other words, Google Now returns twice as many results as Siri and nearly three times as many results as Cortana.


                           Image Credit: Stone Temple Consulting

“This is clear evidence that Google is much further down the path with this type of work than either Apple or Cortana,” says the study.

In addition to winning in terms of volume, Google Now also has a higher rate in terms of whether the returned results directly answer the question.


                            Image Credit: Stone Temple Consulting

A deeper look at Google Now shows that 25 percent of the queries tested don’t link to the source, which can be ascribed to the fact that many returned results are well-established facts, according to the study.


                              Image Credit: Stone Temple Consulting

Additionally, the test reveals that Google usually doesn’t take all the information from a publisher’s website when it provides step-by-step instructions, as only 59 out of 276 examples of step-by-step instructions in the test provide complete instructions.


                              Image Credit: Stone Temple Consulting

Of course, Google Now cannot be 100 percent accurate. But based on this knowledge base test, Google is in lead in terms of the volume of queries addressed, and is more accurate than Siri and Cortana.

“All three parties will keep investing in this type of technology, but the cold hard facts are that Google is progressing the fastest on all fronts,” says the study.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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