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Google Drive Adds Natural Language Search And Typo Correction

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google Drive will let users ‘search like they talk’ with the addition of Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Google has added Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Drive, letting users search for documents using conversational terms.

“Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying ‘search like you talk,’” explained Josh Smith, a product manager at Google. “You can type things like ‘find my budget spreadsheet from last December’ or ‘show me presentations from Anissa.”

“Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching.”

Google Drive Natural Language

google-springboardThe company has also added a number of “highly requested” features to its cloud platform. Google Drive will now autocorrect typos and in searchers, let users split documents into multiple columns in Docs, and save a copy of non-Google files when they are imported and converted into Drive.

Earlier this week, Google completed the acquisition of natural language startup API.ai to improve its work in the area.

As its name would suggest, API.ai provides application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can use to bake-in natural language interaction capabilities into their apps and services, as well as use the APIs as a foundation for chatbots for services such as Slack.

While Google’s natural language recognition efforts seem to be predominately focused on consumer apps, in June it revealed it has been working on an AI assistant to benefit enterprise users.

Dubbed Springboard, the assistant is effectively a version of the Google Now smart service but designed to surface relevant and useful business information as opposed to the normal suite of Google Now data, which displays things like train times, weather and nearby restaurants.

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