Graph Search at the Super Bowl

If you are like me, and not a Patriots fan, the best part of the Super Bowl was the commercials. One commercial, in particular, caught my eye. Do you remember the Google Job Search for Veterans commercial (see the youtube version below)?

I work in Knowledge Management and have increasingly leveraged Knowledge Graphs to address my clients’ needs. However, it’s not often I see a commercial about the technology I work with. It’s an even bigger surprise when the commercial is featured during the Super Bowl, and focuses on the people who support our country.

Why do I think this commercial is about a Knowledge Graph? The commercial shows portions of different Military Occupation Classification (MOC) codes pulled from various  forms and ID cards. These nine-digit codes represent a primary job function and include information on the service member’s position, skill set, and specialty within their branch of the military. The commercial is showing one example of what is likely hundreds of codes in each instance. Even with all of this complexity, Google makes it simple to search for jobs based on any one of these codes, making it easier for veterans to navigate their transition from the Armed Forces.

Google can provide a simple search interface most likely because behind the scenes they are using their Knowledge graph to map MOC codes to military branches to positions to specific skills and training. While I do not work for Google, I would imagine this mapping would look something like the image below.

Knowledge Graphs excel at this type of complex mapping. Once the ontology above is in place, Google can take a simple search query and then infer a position and skill set that translates to jobs outside of the military. In this case, Google’s knowledge graph handles the translation so that employers can continue to speak in their terms and veterans can search using the terms/codes that they understand.

Congratulations to Google for using this powerful technology to match Veterans with organizations that can use their help.

If your organization’s search  has similar complexity around codes and mapping of information, you should consider developing a knowledge graph to support the same kind of interface that Google presents.

Joe Hilger Joe Hilger A senior technologist with expertise in search, content management, and unstructured information. He focuses on creating solutions that have a meaningful impact for his clients. More from Joe Hilger »