Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a mathematician, contemporaneous with Newton. It turns out Leibniz was also a philosopher, and there is something called the Leibniz Principle that equates to data conflation. In colloquial terms, the Leibniz Principle says, ‘If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are it’s a duck.’ That principle is the basis of Microsoft’s new Leibniz Platform. Currently search engines are thought of as tools to find text but Ashok Chandra, Microsoft distinguished scientist and general manager of the Interaction and Intent Group at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, believes people soon will think of search engines as “task engines.” “Search technology began with words,” says Chandra.  “We built a whole search infrastructure around words. But in this new era of search, we are working with entities, because people think in terms of them, such as a hotel, a movie, an event, a ...

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