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  • Powerset is a Silicon Valley company building a transformative consumer search engine based on natural language processing. Powerset's unique innovations in search are rooted in breakthrough technologies that take advantage of the structure and nuances of natural language. Using these advanced techniques, Powerset is building a large-scale search engine that breaks the confines of keyword search. By making search more natural and intuitive, Powerset is fundamentally changing how we search the web, and delivering higher quality results.
  • Powerset is a Microsoft owned company based in San Francisco, California, that, in 2006, was developing a natural language search engine for the Internet. Powerset was working on building a natural language search engine that could find targeted answers to user questions. For example, when confronted with a question like "Which U.S. state has the highest income tax?", conventional search engines ignore the question phrasing and instead do a search on the keywords "state", "highest", "income", and "tax". Powerset on the other hand, attempts to use natural language processing to understand the nature of the question and return pages containing the answer. The company was in the process of "building a natural language search engine that reads and understands every sentence on the Web". The company has licensed natural language technology from PARC, the former Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. On May 11, 2008, the company unveiled a tool for searching a fixed subset of Wikipedia using conversational phrases rather than keywords. On July 1, 2008, Microsoft signed an agreement to acquire Powerset for an estimated $100 million. On May 28, 2009, Microsoft unveiled Bing.

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