Keyword queries make up a diminishing portion of web searches, believe it or not. Thanks to tools like Google Lens and Bing Visual Search, computer vision algorithms drive more than their fair share, as do the natural language processing models underpinning intelligent assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. The increasing mix of mediums is one reason why Microsoft turned to another AI technique — Space Partition Tree And Graph (SPTAG) — to better parse searches. It’s available in open source today, along with example techniques and an accompanying video.

As Microsoft explains in a blog post, SPTAG enables developers to leverage results-finding AI that sifts through vectors — mathematical representations of words, image pixels, and other data points — in milliseconds. SPTAG is at the core of a number of Bing Search services, Microsoft says, and it’s been used to…

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