Do you know who is competing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella? He is a class 10 student and at the age of 16, he designed a personalised search engine that claims to be as high as 47% more accurate than Google. The search designed by Anmol Tukrel, an Indian-origin Canadian citizen, is said to be about 21% more accurate on an average. Imagine what he can do next?
He has just completed his 10th grade, and made the search engine in a couple of months, reported the Economic Times.He said it took him about 60 hours to code the engine, as part of his submission into Google Science Fair. The fair is a global online competition and is open to students aged between 13 and 18 years.
“I thought I would do something in the personalised search space. It was the most genius thing ever. But when I realised Google already does it, I tried taking it to the next level,” said Tukrel, who was in India for a two-week internship programme at Bengaluru-based adtech firm IceCream Labs.
Tukrel’s tinkering kit: A computer with at least 1 gigabyte of free storage space, a python-language development environment, a spreadsheet program and access to Google and New York Times.
Is this search engine accurate? To find its answer, he limited his search query to this year’s news articles from The New York Times. He created several fictitious users with different interests and corresponding web histories. Tukrel then fed this information to both Google and his interest-based search engine. Finally, the results from each search engine were compared.
Today, personalisation is dependent on factors like one’s location, browsing history, and the affinity to the kind of apps they install on their phone. That’s just one part of the equation.Tukrel claims his algorithm solves the other side of the equation: It understands what a user would like before it serves up the results by dwelling deep into the content of the text, understanding the underlying meaning, before matching it to a user’s personality, and throwing up the result.
“For someone to look at a successful Google product and attempt to go one level up, it’s astonishing,” said Sanjay Ramakrishnan, cofounder of Ice-Cream Labs, and former marketing manager of Myntra. Tukrel, the student of Holy Trinity School in Toronto, said he learnt to code in his third grade, and subsequently picked up on mathematics and coding.
“My computer teacher was pretty impressed with the project,” said Tukrel, who has put up a link to the test cases online on http://bit.ly/1FYRNxl for anyone to view.
Tukrel submitted his paper to the International High School Journal of Science last month, and hopes to study computer science at Stanford University. But before that, he wants to develop a news aggregator based on this technology, and licence it to a few digital marketing agencies as well. Would he become a fellow at Paypal founder Peter Theil’s foundation, where one is required to drop out of college to try an idea?
One being asked if he will drop out, he said: “To be honest, it’s incredibly stupid to drop out. It’s very arrogant to think that your idea is so good, that you don’t need to learn anything.”
So what does he want next?
The reply came: “Eleventh grade.”