Google Drive is now smarter thanks to natural language search

Google’s amazing and frankly unparalleled Natural Language Processing technology (NLP) is a textbook example of a system that is so perfect that you hardly know it is there. Every time you misspell a word in your search or simply try to explain something in a way that seems natural to you, but is hardly coherent from a machine standpoint, the magic-like mechanism is there to help you out and still pull through and deliver your results.

To simplify things even further, you know the small “Did you mean” link that somehow seem to read your mind when you mess up a search? Well, it is now part of Google Drive as well, along with all the underlying natural language processing power necessary to drive it.

What this means is that users will now be able to navigate their online file storage a lot easier, much like requesting things from a secretary. For instance, you can ask for that financial report you did last month and Google will be smart enough to magically transform that into a proper query with a “type:presentation” appendix.

The update has already started rolling out to users, but there is no way to really know how powerful it is without giving it a spin for yourself. Plus, the contents of the Drive account are likely to affect performance as well.

Come to think of it, this is quite reminiscent of the last major update Google applied to its Photos app. There you can also use natural language queries and even names to find images of certain people.

The new Google Drive update also brings about a few other smaller tweaks. There is now a new “Columns” view under the “Format” menu. Also, files converted into Google’s own formats for Docs, Sheets or Slides will no longer be lost, but rather saved as a backup copy that you can revert to in the Revision History, if need be.

Source | Via