In the realm of technology and artificial intelligence, the pursuit of intelligent and effective solutions never ceases. Azure Cognitive Search is a transformative update that promises to revolutionize user’s search experience, providing more relevant results and enhancing your overall efficiency.
Several years ago, Microsoft embarked on a mission to infuse AI into Azure Search, recognizing its potential to deliver greater value to our customers. The challenge was evident: a substantial amount of valuable information existed within Microsoft in unstructured formats such as PDFs, PowerPoints, Word documents, JPEGs, CSVs, and more. To address this challenge, Microsoft introduced AI-driven enhancements into our ingestion process. This innovation enabled customers to extract structure, gain insights, and transform information from diverse data sources.
The integration of cutting-edge AI capabilities into the core search subsystem introduces semantic search to Azure Cognitive Search, empowering developers to harness the potential of semantic search over their searchable content.
Semantic search ushers in a game-changing feature known as “Semantic Ranking.” Conventional keyword-based retrieval methods primarily relied on term frequencies, often struggling to deliver pertinent results for natural language queries. For example, when searching for “how to add a user in Office” within Microsoft documentation, the default ranking algorithm might yield documents with frequent keyword mentions but could fall short in delivering the desired information.
With semantic search, we leverage deep neural networks to rank documents based on their “meaningfulness” relative to the query. This semantic ranker is applied atop the results generated by the traditional ranker. The difference is remarkable: Semantic search provides results that more closely align with the user’s intent, even if the titles and content don’t precisely match the query’s syntax.
Another intriguing feature brought forth by semantic search is “Semantic Answers.” This feature capitalizes on an AI model to extract pertinent passages from top documents and ranks them based on their likelihood of addressing the query. When a passage is identified as highly probable to answer the question, it is promoted as a semantic answer. This enhancement significantly reduces the need for users to manually sift through documents, greatly improving the search experience.
Furthermore, semantic search enables the extraction of the most pertinent sections from each document, allowing users to swiftly scan through results. This feature empowers users to identify content that aligns with their requirements, simplifying the process of selecting and delving deeper into relevant documents based on their context.
In summary, the introduction of semantic search to Azure Cognitive Search signifies a substantial leap forward in the pursuit of more relevant and efficient search results. With semantic ranking, semantic answers, and semantic captions, we are confident that this update will elevate your search experience and empower you to discover the information you need with greater efficiency than ever before.