Friday, December 1, 2006

And Addemdum to Paging Dr. Google...

Yesterday I posted about Google playing health care specialist by serving up different options for terms it deems to be medically related, like "sore knee" or "depression" and so on. Today I came across this article in the Chicago Tribune about a study done, called "Googling for a Diagnosis" that was published in the British Medical Journal. BMJ also devotes an editorial to the idea of using a search engine like Google for diagnosing illnesses. The editorial introduces a word that has been tossed around Web 2.0 forums and over coffee tables at cafes where you find linguists in heated arguments. The word: semantics.

If you've done much search engine optimization, you know that search engines have slowly incorporated LSI agreements into algorithms. Most see it as a way to weed out much of the junk found on the Web by making grammar count. Part of that all-encompassing goal of generating the most relevant results for any given search query. The BMJ editorial builds on that idea, challenging search engines to "identify which words in a document represent symptoms, diagnoses, drug names, or parts of the body, let alone reason about these concepts."

Certainly would beat looking things up in the PDR now wouldn't it?

1 comment:

YoYoYo said...

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...without giving anyone your medical records!

Please check it out if you get the chance.