A Real Life Example of LSI at Work in Google

I accidentally stumbled upon something interesting yesterday, and an example of Google’s LSI algorithms at work.

From Wikipedia, LSI is defined as:

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is an indexing and retrieval method that uses a mathematical technique called singular value decomposition (SVD) to identify patterns in the relationships between the terms and concepts contained in an unstructured collection of text.

In simple terms, it is Google trying to understand the relationships between phrases and words and trying to understand how and when they relate to one another and their deeper meanings.

During lunch I was browsing through Facebook, and I came across a post someone had made. It was one of those “So and so blows away the judges of [insert talent competition show here]”. I normally ignore those, but this one caught my eye because it mentioned it was a 13 year-old girl who was disabled. I took a look.

If any of you are fans of The X Factor, the story of Rion Page will be familiar to you. Rion has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. In really simple terms, it generally affects either the hand or feet. The child is born with muscles in the joints that are shorter than normal and does not allow them to extend their joints. In Rion’s case, you can see her hands are bent at the wrist and not straight.

Rion has an extraordinary voice. Simon Cowell, upon seeing her audition on The X Factor, was reminded of Carrie Underwood’s audition on American Idol. Certainly high praise.

Now I do not watch The X Factor, but I was curious to find out more about her, how she did on the show, and what she is up to now. I Googled “Rion Paige wiki”. I found something interesting.

image of Rion Paige leading to Arthrogryposis search result

Take a look at the third listing. It is the Wiki page for Arthrogryposis. If you visit that page, nowhere on it does it have any mention of Rion Paige. Obviously over the past few months, she has been getting a lot of press. There are tons of stories being published about her, and no doubt, almost all of them mention Arthrogryposis in them.

Google has associated this young woman with this affliction. It’s a pretty good example of LSI at work.

On a side note, Rion seems like an extraordinary, energetic, and talented young woman. I wish her the best in the future.

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