Hot Topics in Computing: Beyond information retrieval: what does Search mean these days?

Speaker: Prabhakar Raghavan

Date: Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Time: 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: 26-100

Event Type: Seminar

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Host: Daniela Rus, MIT SCC & CSAIL


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Reminder Subject: TALK: Prabhakar Raghavan: Beyond information retrieval: what does Search mean these days?

Beyond information retrieval: what does Search mean these days?

Classic information retrieval systems aimed to retrieve the documents best matching a user’s query. The advent of the web dramatically changed this landscape and led to the creation of what is considered the modern day search engine. In this talk, we will explore this evolution and the nuanced questions that arise in the operation of a search engine at planetary scale: information quality vs. misinformation; limitations in query understanding, the corpus of content, and information fragmentation; and the economics and value exchange of web search. We are in the early stages of these staples being transformed by the advent of large language models. The future of search lies in the continued refinement of the interplay between evolving technologies, economic models, and user behaviors. We will delve into the new set of opportunities and challenges posed by this shift.

Prabhakar Raghavan is a Senior Vice President at Google. He is responsible for Google’s Knowledge & Information products, including Google Search, News, Assistant, Bard, Geo, Ads, Commerce and Payments.

Prabhakar is one of the foremost authorities on Search and is the co-author of two widely-used graduate texts on algorithms and on search: Randomized Algorithms and Introduction to Information Retrieval. He has over 20 years of research spanning algorithms, web search and databases, has published over 100 papers in various fields, and holds 20 issued patents, including several on link analysis for web search.

He joined Google in 2012. Prior to his current role, he was Vice President of Google Apps, Google Cloud. Under his leadership, the Apps business expanded from a set of consumer apps to an enterprise solution that is a major contributor to Google’s Cloud business. He grew both Gmail and Drive past 1 billion monthly active users (MAUs) and introduced a number of machine intelligence features in G Suite, including Smart Reply, Smart Compose, and Drive Quick Access — each leading to measurable improvements in user experience.

In 2018, he became responsible for the Ads & Commerce teams, including search, display and video advertising, analytics, shopping, payments, and travel. He’s helped drive double-digit growth, while remaining centered on longstanding principles of user trust and fair value exchange among users, publishers, and advertisers.

Before joining Google, Prabhakar founded and led Yahoo! Labs where he was responsible for search and ad ranking, as well as ad marketplace design. He also served as CTO at Verity, and held various positions over the course of 14 years at IBM Research, working on algorithms.

Prabhakar holds a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE; a former editor in chief for the Journal of the ACM; and was a Consulting Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. In 2009, he was awarded a Laurea honoris causa from the University of Bologna.

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Created by Lauralyn M. Smith Email at Monday, March 18, 2024 at 8:25 AM.