Google’s about to get better at understanding complex questions

Google held an event focused on its most famous tech—its search engine—today to announce a batch of new changes. The event, called Search On, described updates that are on their way in the coming months that could change the way that people search for information, and what they can ask the search giant to find for them.

Google also exhibited how they’ll be using their new artificial intelligence system, MUM, or Multitask Unified Model, to expand their search capabilities so users can better explore complex topics.

Despite its wonky name, MUM, along with other artificial intelligence innovations, is intended to make search feel more natural and intuitive. To do this, MUM works to understand separate components related to a subject such as word descriptions, images, videos, and draw connections between these different components. So, to really understand what a lion is, for example, MUM pieces together what it sounds like, looks like, how it moves, what it eats, where it lives, and how it’s part of the cat family (but not the kind of cat you keep as a pet).

“People turn to search engines to find information they can trust,” Danielle Romain, VP of Trust at Google, said at Search On. “We also know that people don’t just want quick facts. For many topics, they want to really understand the information that’s out there.”

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