A 16-year-old Canadian boy of Indian origin, Anmol Tukrel, has developed a personalized search engine which he claims to be 21% more accurate than Google on average and can be as high as 47% more accurate than the search engine giant. He started working on the search engine as a project to submit in the Google Science Fair, which is a global competition open for students aged between 13 to 18 years.
Anmol Tukrel, who has just passed the 10th grade, said that it took him about 2 months to design and 60 hours to code the search engine. He further said, "I thought I would do something in the personalized search space. It was the most genius thing ever. But when I realized Google already does it, I tried taking it to the next level."
For development, his kit included a computer with at least 1GB free storage space, a Python-language development environment, a spreadsheet program, and access to Google and The New York Times. However, he limited his search queries to this year’s New York Times’ articles. After this, he created multiple fictitious users with different interests and web history. Then he fed this data into Google as well as his own search engine and compared the results. He has put his test cases online, which can be seen by anyone who's interested.
According to Anmol, personalization depends on factors like user’s location, browsing history, and the type of apps installed on his device, which is only the one side of the coin. He claims that his search engine’s algorithm takes the second side into consideration. He says that his search engine understands what a user would like by digging into the context of the text before matching it with the personality of the user, and showing search results.
Anmol was in India for a two-week internship at IceCream Labs, Bangalore. Where he came to know that Google already has a personalized search engine. Talking about his future plans, he said that he hopes to study computer science at Stanford University and wants to develop a news aggregator app based on the same technology used in his search engine.