New Software Makes Google People Searches More Accurate

New Scientist Tech is reporting on a software program developed in Japan that makes common name Google people searches more accurate.

From the article –

Scouring the web for someone with a common name could become easier with software that automatically distinguishes between individuals by analysing the details of search results.

The software tool, developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan, picks apart the results of a search engine query, identifying unique identities within these results. For example, it can tell the difference between Michael Jackson the pop singer and a travelling beer expert of the same name, who also appears on the first page of results produced by Google.

The program analyses the first 100 results returned by Google in response to a name search. It then examines common words in each summary to see if any results may relate to different people with the same name.

The program clusters together results thought to relate to different people. For example, it creates one cluster of results for pop signer Michael Jackson, defined by key words such as “music” and “trial”, and another for beer expert Michael Jackson, defined by the words “beer” and “travel”. In testing, the software was between 70% and 95% accurate at telling apart people with the same name.

Source: Software distinguishes between online namesakes