Phillip Butler of Argophilia.com recently shared his opinions regarding semantic search as it relates to the travel industry, particularly with regard to Desti, a new travel search startup. Butler writes, “The other day Tnooz reported on Expedia testing their own variant of natural language search, now available in a Powerset-like sandbox called YourVisit. In that article Kevin May aptly points to other supposed ‘natural language search’ developments in travel, namely Evature and Hopper. The problem with this is, these systems are not AI nor true semantic search, in fact ‘natural language search’ is a buzz term actually used by Powerset to differentiate from hakia and Google semantic search experiments.”

He goes on, “Expedia is heading off into replacing Google, for obvious reasons we should all applaud, but the databases Expedia has to employ for the long tail of semantic travel search? Uh hum, let’s just say hakia has already been deployed on the local level, and Bing has been deployed spending hundreds of millions of dollars just to taunt Google a little. As for the real value behind Desti (and all others) content and more database choices is obvious even in Desti’s hiring plans. They are currently looking for content specialists.”

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Image: Courtesy Desti