by Matt Kapko

Google Drive gets machine-learning search features

Sep 21, 2016
Cloud ComputingCloud StorageGoogle Drive

Google's Drive cloud storage service this week got a familiar search feature that has helped defined the Google experience for years.

Google this week debuted new search and natural-language-processing (NLP) features in its Drive cloud storage service. The key NLP features, which Google has invested in for many years, will be familiar to Google Search users. The search bar in Drive now shows suggestions and retrieves files based on commonly used phrases.

NLP is a “fancy way of saying ‘search like you talk,'” wrote Google Product Manager Josh Smith, in a blog post. “Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results.”

[ Related: Google doubles down on enterprise at I/O ]

Instead of searching Drive for documents based on specific filenames, you can now type, “show budget spreadsheets” or “find presentations from Jodie,” for example. Drive will autocorrect misspelled search terms in queries. And Drive NLP also learns and improves with each query, according to Google. 

Last year, Google introduced a number of IT-friendly features for its premium cloud-storage service, Drive for Work, including sharing controls, security features and custom alerts.

And as of March 2015, more than 1,800 businesses signed up for Google Drive for Work every week, according to Google.