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Google Counter-Attacks AskJeeves With Emerging "Google Q&A" Service

"This Is Only the Beginning," Says Tech Lead

If you type "Where is Brazzaville?" into your Google search box, the first entry it will return is an answer: "Location: Republic of the Congo" - followed, of course, by a hyperlink verifying that answer. had better look to its laurels, "Google Q&A" has emerged to one day beat it at its own game.

Although not listed on its Google Labs page, "Google Q&A" is a functionality that Peter Norvig, the artificial intelligence guru who is Google's director of search quality, confirms has now been built in to Google.

Currently the Google Q&A functionality works only on but not on the international sites.

Also, it is as yet sporadic, in that many questions do not spawn answers. "Does sex sell?" for example doesn't generate an answer, and nor does "Will hell freeze over?" - but Google cleverly returns instead a top-line plug for another of its services:

Tip: Have a question? Ask the researchers at Google Answers.


"We've pulled together facts from all over the Web to help give you the fastest possible access to the quick bits of information you need every day," says Jonathan Betz, Tech lead, Google Q&A.

He adds:

"Q&A knows about a lot of areas: celebrities, countries of the world, the planets, the elements, electronics, movies, and anything else we've thought of so far (including enabling you to get answers on your mobile device). Try it out, and keep checking back. This is only the beginning."

There will undoubtedly be a few people at looking over their shoulder, though asking Google "Will die?" didn't yield an immediate answer, either.


More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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