Google Labs has just launched Talk Guru, a service that lets you obtain basic information such as the weather and sport scores by sending an instant message.
The experimental service has you add a contact called ‘guru’ to your Google Talk list, and you can then initiate a conversation to get certain kinds of information more quickly than you would if you’d looked through a bunch of search results.
But you have to know the syntax, as the service has no natural language processing. Hopefully, we’ll see improvements in this area down the line to make it more than another search box.
Take a weather look-up as an example — Google’s suggested ‘weather Nairobi’ query returns an answer (19 degrees Celsius and mostly cloudy, if you were wondering), but “What’s the weather like in Nairobi” gets you an error — a query that chatbots have had no issues dealing with for years.
With Talk Guru’s natural language processing leaving something to be desired, the service does seem like it’d be useful for mobile users looking to avoid slow loading times–perhaps next time you’re trying to communicate with a taxi driver in a foreign country and need a quick translation.