Google has started to offer its Knowledge Graph aided-search results to US English users, with a global roll-out on the cards later. It is a new technology that understands and uses associations between people, places, events and "things" in the world to present relevant extra information during each search.
When you search for a particular subject - for example, Simpson's creator Matt Groening - the Google results will list the usual links on the left-hand side while the right now includes an information box, which will list other associations, biography and details. Or, as with Groening, links to his work. It will, Amazon-style, present a snapshot of other things searched for by people who also typed in "Matt Groening".
At first, the new tech is design to work closely with many of the familiar information resources, such as Wikipedia, Freebase and the CIA World Factbook, but Google has also been building its own resource.
It currently recognises 500 million objects, and includes more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And, because it learns from users and their search queries, the Knowledge Graph will become more expansive and accurate over time.
Amit Singhal, Google's senior vice-president of engineering, believes that the Knowledge Graph adds a whole new layer of "intelligence" to search results. "We hope this added intelligence will give you a more complete picture of your interest, provide smarter search results, and pique your curiosity on new topics," he posts on the company's blog.
"We’re proud of our first baby step - the Knowledge Graph - which will enable us to make search more intelligent, moving us closer to the 'Star Trek computer' that I've always dreamt of building.
"Enjoy your lifelong journey of discovery, made easier by Google Search, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing what you love."
The Knowledge Graph will also be used to improve mobile and tablet search.
Do you like the idea of the knowledge graph? Will it help your search experience? Let us know in the comments below...