Google and Microsoft are both active in the Named Entity Recognition (NER) field, and more notably, in Named Entity Disambiguation. This task consists of “disambiguating between multiple named entities that can be denoted by the same proper name” (Bunescu and Pasca 2006). For instance, politicians, Internet entrepreneurs and criminals share the name of James Clark. And yes, these are all distinct entities.

Well-known NER researchers at Google and Microsoft published the following papers:

These are two very nice pieces of work that deserve an attentive read. What motivates this research is clear:

“A frequent case are queries about named entities, which constitute a significant fraction of popular Web queries according to search engine logs. When submitting queries such as John Williams or Python, search engine users could also be presented with a compilation of facts and specific attributes about those named entities, rather than a set of best-matching Web pages. “



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