Microsoft adds spelling improvements to Bing search

It doesn't matter which Internet search engine you use: There's a chance you will type in a search string with incorrect spellings of words and phrases. Both Google and Microsoft's Bing have ways to figure out if you have misspelled your search string, but it doesn't always work.

In a new post on the Bing blog, Microsoft states, "It takes state-of-the-art machine learning, statistical modeling, information retrieval, and significant engineering muscle to deliver high quality web scale spell correction at high speeds." This allows Bing's spell checker to figure out the intent of a search screen even if it isn't correctly typed in by the user.  Microsoft uses the example of someone typing in the phrase "how can you sea if money is reel" to show how this might work. Obviously, "sea" and "reel" are real words, but they don't work in the context of the search inquiry. Microsoft's Bing Speller can sense this and recognize that "sea" is supposed to be "see" and "reel" is meant to be "real". It can then produce the correct search result instead of one that might bring up results that link to fish-related websites.

And what about when new words or slang enter the popular vocabulary? A search engine might have issues with finding the right information if it doesn't recognize a new word. Microsoft says:

Since a dynamic dictionary doesn't exist, to solve this problem, the Speller needs to index all of the words and phrases available, even if they are rare or obscure. For instance, a comprehensive view of web content enables us to correct a misspelling of the company Pala-Tech and a search for thyroid from “pallitech thyoid” to “pala tech thyroid.” Without access to the constantly changing ebbs of the Web, word processing spellers are not likely to be able to make this correction.

Source: Bing blog | Image via Bing

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