Pinecone launches advanced hybrid search functionality 

Pinecone Systems Inc., a machine learning (ML) search infrastructure company, has announced the release of a keyword-aware semantic search solution that offers accessible and advanced combination of semantic and keyword search results.

"Vector search" allows companies to provide relevant results based on semantic, or similar meanings, as opposed to simple keyword-based searches. At the same time, keywords still matter in searches involving uncommon words like names or industry-specific terms. With few exceptions, companies have to choose between semantic search and keyword search, or running both systems in parallel.

Neither of these options is ideal. When companies choose one or the other, the results are not as complete as they could be, and when they run both systems in parallel and try to combine the results, cost and complexity goes up significantly.

"Our research shows that keyword-aware semantic search is superior to either semantic search or keyword search separately. This release finally allows businesses to provide their users with the most relevant possible results no matter how specific the query or how unique the topic," said Edo Liberty, Founder and CEO of Pinecone.

Pinecone developed hybrid search technology that makes keyword-aware semantic search possible. This technology can search across two data types - "dense vectors" generated by ML models to represent meaning, and "sparse vectors" generated by traditional keyword-ranking models such as BM25 - before automatically fusing everything into one ranked list of the most relevant results.

Pinecone claims its new keyword-aware semantic search solution means that companies of all sizes and types will now be able to provide the same calibre of highly relevant search results that only tech giants capable of investing heavily in data science and engineering work could offer previously. Their applications will now be able to understand both what users say and what they mean.

"Most companies do not have the resources to provide their users with the types of advanced search solutions that tech giants do, and this release from Pinecone changes all of that," concluded Liberty, who headed Amazon AI Labs and Yahoo's Research Lab in New York prior to founding Pinecone.

The Pinecone hybrid search feature is available in beta. Request access at