MUM in action: What Google’s new algorithm can do

01.07.2021 03 min

MUM – what sounds familiar and homey is Google’s name for a new technology: Multitask Unified Model. The algorithm was developed to answer complex search queries and is now in its first use!

What is behind the new technology?

Already in May, Google announced MUM – however, at that time the algorithm was still in the testing phase. The information there was that the new algorithm would be applied to search results in the coming months or years. A relatively vague timeframe, but now the time has come, the technology is entering its first learning phase! The technology behind MUM is primarily designed to understand language better and then provide helpful answers. This is intended to support users, especially in complex search queries. In this way, relevant information should be found more easily and with fewer searches. For the future, Google would like MUM to even be able to provide answers to complicated questions on its own.

What does MUM currently do?

The new algorithm is currently being unleashed on vaccine search results. As Corona continues to influence the online marketing world, this seems a sensible first step. In doing so, the algorithm identifies over 800 keywords that people enter when searching for COVID-19 vaccines. MUM is then supposed to deliver trustworthy information on this basis. The exciting part is that the new technology recognizes in seconds the more than 800 variations of vaccine names, and in more than 50 different languages. According to Google, the same process would take several weeks without this new technology. That’s because MUM has the ability to transfer, or share, knowledge. In doing so, the technology learns from the total of over 75 languages and can reproduce the knowledge in other languages – a multilingual algorithm, in other words. Conversely, this means MUM does not have to learn new skills and abilities for each new language.

The image shows the Google search for Covid vaccines. This is optimized by the new algorithm MUM and thus plays out more trustworthy information and results.
This is what providing trusted information on COVID-19 vaccines looks like in search.

What are the future prospects for MUM?

Even though Covid vaccines are the first and only (confirmed) use case so far, it is foreseeable that Google will continue to actively rely on MUM. Thus, users will be assisted in their search in a helpful way. In addition, Google is already holding out the prospect of improving existing services, but possibly also building new tools.

Lara Meyer hat ihr Bachelorstudium der Betriebswirtschaft, Schwerpunkt Betriebswirtschaft der Medien, an der FH in Würzburg abgeschlossen. Als Teil des eology-Marketing-Teams kümmert sie sich um die Verbreitung des gesammelten eology-Wissens, indem sie ihr Know-how in Magazinen, Blogs und Zeitschriften teilt.


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