The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine's search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources. Knowledge Graph display was added to Google's search engine in 2012, starting in the United States, having been announced on May 16, 2012. It provides structured and detailed information about the topic in addition to a list of links to other sites. The goal is that users would be able to use this information to resolve their query without having to navigate to other sites and assemble the information themselves. The short summary provided in the knowledge graph is often used as a spoken answer in Google Now searches.
According to Google, the information in the Knowledge Graph is derived from many sources, including the CIA World Factbook, Freebase (being replaced by Wikidata), and Wikipedia. The feature is similar in intent to answer engines such as Wolfram Alpha and efforts such as Linked Data and DBpedia.
As of 2012[update], its semantic network contained over 570 million objects and more than 18 billion facts about and relationships between different objects that are used to understand the meaning of the keywords entered for the search.
In August 2014, Google announced a new initiative, the Knowledge Vault, which derives much of its data from the Knowledge Graph and the sources thereof, as well as harvesting its own data, ranking its reliability and compiling all results into a database of over 1.6 billion facts collected by machine learning algorithms. On December 16, 2014 the Freebase and Knowledge Graph team at Google announced that Freebase would shut-down in late 2015 and that they would help to transfer all of its data over to Wikidata.
During the Google I/O conference in May 2013, Google's Amit Singhal presented on the future of search, explaining that a search engine's three primary functions will need to evolve and that search will need to: 1. Answer, 2. Converse, and 3. Anticipate. As part of his keynote talk, Singhal stated, "A computer you can talk to? And it will answer everything you ask it?"
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