Recommendation Engine

WHO is actually searching

Written by Ian Sharp PhD on Jan. 30th, 2019


You might say, "Well, everybody is Ian. Everybody is searching... searching for something". And you would be right. Everybody is looking for something, that includes you, and the guy or gal next door. We're all looking for something. Whether we're actively typing into a search box or when we're just living life. To search is to have an intent. It's the nature of being alive and human.

So what if I told you... your searches are searching. You heard me. I won't contest, that therefore, let's imply your searches are 'being alive and human', because I don't really care about that... Well, I might care a little, if it were true, but that topic is not the point here today. What we're addressing now is the topic of WHO or rather WHAT is searching. And yes, your searches are searching.

How is that possible? Well, if you read my previous blog post "Which came first, the search query or the search result?" you would have learned a little more about the nature of information itself, and I recommend that you read that blog post before reading on.

It is possible that your searches are searching because the overall concept of a search result document exists, in many forms, whether you acknowledge any of those forms or not. "Can you give me an example of that?", you might ask? Well, yes, I sure can and I'd be glad to. How about the 'category'.

If you're reading a recipe about making soup, you might contest that the entire recipe is about "cooking at home". So "cooking at home", could be the category of your reading material. I'll give you another example category. What about "soup"? The recipe is about making soup isn't it. Different documents can have different categories. A machine can tell you what the categories are, or you can come up with them yourself. It is also a large and exciting area of research. But let's back up and stay on track.

If we were to say the document itself is capable of searching for similar documents, does that still sound so crazy? ... That's what happens when you read articles about making soup and then you suddenly find ads asking you to try the new and improved england clam chowder. Is that the red or the white? Read my next blog, where I touch on another important topic; a topic that falls within the same category of big data.

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Ian Sharp PhD

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