AI-powered Semantic Search; A story of broken promises?
06-13, 14:00–14:40 (Europe/Berlin), Maschinenhaus

Semantic search using AI-powered vector embeddings of text, where relevancy is measured using a vector similarity function, has been a hot topic for the last few years. As a result, platforms and solutions for vector search have been springing up like mushrooms. Even traditional search engines like Elasticsearch and Apache Solr ride the semantic vector search wave and now support fast but approximative vector search, a building block for supporting AI-powered semantic search at scale.

Undoublty, sizeable pre-trained language models like BERT have revolutionized the state-of-the-art on data-rich text search relevancy datasets. However, the question search practitioners are asking themself is, do these models deliver on their promise of an improved search experience when applied to their domain? Furthermore, is semantic search the silver bullet which outcompetes traditional keyword-based search across many search use cases? This talk delves into these questions and demonstrates how these semantic models can dramatically fail to deliver their promise when used on unseen data in new domains.

The Search track is presented by OpenSource Connections

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Distinguished Engineer @Yahoo working on @vespaengine. Tweets about Vespa, search, recommendation, ranking, and IR.