Microsoft Patent to Allow Users Search the Web as their Favorite Celebrity - Files 'Applying a Model of Persona to Search Results' Patent Application

Microsoft has filed a U.S. patent application on October 13 titled "Applying a Model of Persona to Search Results," that outlines a search system that would allow users to search the web as their favorite celebrity. The abstract of the application reads:"A data search and retrieval system that, in response to a search query, applies […]

Microsoft has filed a U.S. patent application on October 13 titled "Applying a Model of Persona to Search Results," that outlines a search system that would allow users to search the web as their favorite celebrity. The abstract of the application reads:

"A data search and retrieval system that, in response to a search query, applies a model to search results to generate information to be returned to a user. The model may define characteristics of a persona such that the application of the model generates information consistent with the persona. A persona may be an individual person or a group of people having shared characteristics. A user may be presented with a list of identifiers of available models of personae. When the user selects a model of a particular persona to be applied, the information generated in return to the user may be consistent with the characteristics associated with the selected persona."

Applying a Model of Persona to Search Results

How would it work? Microsoft may expand the functionality and utility of search systems by incorporating into a search stack of a search system components that can select and apply one or more models characterizing data to be provided to a user in the user's context. In response to a search query, or other input identifying user context, the system may identify a model to apply in generating information for the user. The model may be selected based on user context information, that may include the search query itself or data generated by a search engine applying the search query to select web pages.

Once a model is selected, a model application engine may apply the model to generate information to be provided to the user. A model may include one or more elements, at least some of which define a computation to be performed based on data dynamically identified for the user's context. For example, application of the model may result in a computation that has inputs relating to terms in the search query or data generated by a search engine applying the search query. The output of the computation may be provided to the user as a result of the search query, either alone or in conjunction with data located by a search engine or other dynamically generated data.

Applying models in a search stack may greatly expand the type of information that may be returned to a user and may be applied in many different contexts.

Microsoft explains, for example, a model may include an equation, defining computation of calorie content from a recipe. "Such a model may be applied in response to a query requesting recipes such that, in addition to receiving content representing recipes found on web pages, a user may receive calorie content, even though that information was not included on the web pages. As another example, a model may include a formula for computing commuting distance or time from a location. Such a model may be applied in response to a query requesting information on houses for sale such that, in addition to receiving a listing of houses for sale identified as a result of a search, a user may receive commuting information with each house."