December 21, 2007
On December 18, Google was granted a patent for generating "snippets" that summarize things, while on that very same day Amazon.com was granted a patent for collecting and displaying customer-supplied "blurbs" about things. Mike Masnick looks forward to the prospect of a "patent infringement lawsuit" in which the two net giants battle to define the boundaries between snippets and blurbs. What happens, for instance, when Google tries to snippetize a blurb? It could be the defining epistemological debate of our time.
Not a problem: Google offers to generate a text, i.e. the grammar & choice of vocabulary is done by a computer — while Amazon is basically patenting human-written comments.
While Google seems a spectacular feat in natural language procesing, likely to transform, among other things, Google News — without clarifying the intellectual property issues behind the “other documents” it relies on, Amazon is playing with RSS. Both usefull, however as different in nature as a Search engine classifying algorythm and a RSS viewer.
However, the non-neologisms are ugly — and Google might want to enroll the charming S. Pinker or that cute lexicographer from TechTalk Two years ago: branding needs them.
Posted by: Bertil at December 26, 2007 09:33 AM
Post a comment
"Riveting" -San Francisco Chronicle
"Rewarding" -Financial Times
"Ominously prescient" -Kirkus Reviews
"Riveting stuff" -New York Post