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Powerset October 30, 2007

Posted by Andre Vellino in Search, Semantics.

I’m looking forward to hearing from Powerset Labs so I can try their new “semantic” search engine from Xerox PARC. I registered, but there appears to be a backlog due to the buzz in the blogosphere. I find it interesting to see what kinds of positions they are advertising for: this the first time I’ve seen an post for a “relevance ranking engineer”.


1. Will Fitzgerald - October 31, 2007

Hi Andre,

Daniel Lemire, with whom I used to work at NRC Fredericton, pointed out your blog post. I’m working at Powerset now.

You might be interested in knowing that relevance ranking is more or less a term of art in search, so ‘relevance ranking engineer’ (under this or similar title) is a fairly standard search function–you’d find people at Google, Yahoo, etc doing relevance engineering.

One of the cool things about using the Parc technologies is that we can apply both standard search techniques in conjunction with special semantic sauce to improve the user’s search experience. It’s cool to see people from fairly disparate cultures come together to create a new core search engine.

2. Andre Vellino - October 31, 2007

Thanks Will.

I know about the problem of “relevance ranking” as an IR problem – I just found it interesting that there is such a function as “relevance ranking engineering”. I had the same kind of reaction when AI companies were hiring for “knowledge engineers” in the 80’s. I know what these job require of the applicant, it just sounds odd.

I look forward to trying out your search engine – looks like you’re having fun.

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