Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Computers figuring out what words mean

A Web 3.0 target is to develop artificial intelligence "agents" that mine mountains of information on the Internet for material that suit the interests of the people they serve.
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 18, 2008
The Internet got smarter this week with the release of a semantic map that teaches computers the meanings behind words -- and gives the machines a vocabulary far larger than that of a typical US college graduate.

Cognition Technologies began licensing the map Tuesday to software creators interested in having programs "understand" words based on tenses and sentence context -- in much the same way as the human brain does.

"We have taught the computer virtually all the meanings of words and phrases in the English language," Cognition chief executive Scott Jarus told AFP.

"This is clearly a building block for Web 3.0, or what is known as the Semantic Web. It has taken 30 years; it is a labor of love," Jarus said.

The semantic map is reportedly the world's largest, and gives computers a vocabulary more than 10 times as extensive as that of a typical US college graduate.

The coming third generation of life online is predicted to feature intuitive artificial intelligence applications that work swiftly across broadband Internet connections.

When applied to Internet searches, semantic technology delivers results oriented to what people seem to be seeking instead of simply matching words used to online content.

For example, a semantic online search for "melancholy songs with birds" would know to link sadness in lyrics with various species of birds.

Cognition's semantic map is already used in a LexisNexis Concordance "e-discovery" software to sift through documents amassed during evidence phases of trials.

"We help them find the needle in a haystack," Jarus said.

"It used to be boxes and boxes of paper and now 80 percent of it is digital. Lawyers can search for a smoking gun within that discovery material."

Cognition's Caselaw program uses the technology to mine more than a half-century of US federal court decisions for legal precedents, according to the company.

The semantic map is also employed in a widely-used medical database.

Cognition says it has also "semantically enabled" globally popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

A Web 3.0 target is to develop artificial intelligence "agents" that mine mountains of information on the Internet for material that suit the interests of the people they serve.

"It would be a software application constantly looking for things you might be interested in while accurately understanding the concepts of what you are looking for," Jarus said.

He described it as "artificial intelligence agents working for you on a push basis instead of a pull basis."

Cognition has a handful of rivals, with each firm taking its own approach to semantic technology.

In July US software giant Microsoft bought San Francisco-based Powerset, a three-year-old start-up which specializes in interpreting the intent of people's Internet searches instead of matching specific words they use.

Microsoft said it plans to use Powerset technology to enhance its free Live Search service, which has been mired in third place behind Google and Yahoo in the lucrative Internet search-related advertising arena.

Powerset's semantic search merges linguistics with engineering in a software platform to figure out what people are seeking based on questions or phrases.

Standard search engines respond to individual words in the search query.

Microsoft senior vice president of search, portal and advertising Satya Nadella said at the time that a third of today's online searches don't get people the answers they seek on the first try.

"Search engines don't understand today that 'shrub' and 'tree' are similar concepts," Nadella wrote in a blog posting.

"We don't understand that 'cancer' sometimes refers to a disease and sometimes refers to a horoscope and when a query or a webpage refers to which."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but unconfirmed reports were that Microsoft may have paid as much as 100 million dollars for Powerset.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The Satellite Navigation In Our Brains
London, UK (SPX) Sep 16, 2008
Our brains contain their own navigation system much like satellite navigation ("sat-nav"), with in-built maps, grids and compasses, neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers told the BA Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool.

  • Frustration mounts over return to hurricane stricken Texas city
  • Child traffickers arrested in India flood zone: police
  • US Gives Green Light To Food Sales To Hurricane-Hit Cuba
  • Myanmar seeks seeds, fertiliser after Cyclone Nargis: IRRI

  • Cornell Announces Its First Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  • Warming World In Range Of Dangerous Consequences
  • UN chief appoints two new special envoys on climate change
  • Sinking feeling: Hot year damages carbon uptake by plants

  • Kopernikus, Observing Our Planet For A Safer World
  • Hurricane Ike Larger, Eyeing Landfall Early Saturday in Texas
  • QuikScat's Recent View Of Arctic Sea Ice
  • Report Explores Use Of Earth Data To Support National Priorities

  • Analysis: Iran-Turkey maritime ties
  • 1M barrels of emergency oil are moved
  • Analysis: Russia's pipeline victory
  • Economic downturn 'a chance to invest' in green energy: Gore

  • Toll rises to 121 in Uganda hepatitis epidemic
  • Sharp unveils new anti-bird flu air purifier
  • HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge
  • Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks

  • Over 100 New Sharks And Rays Classified
  • Swashbuckling Scientists Discover Northern Vents
  • Luck Gave Dinosaurs An Edge
  • How Corals Adapt To Day And Night

  • Bangladesh bans 'toxic' ship for second time
  • Color-Coded Bacteria Can Spot Oil Spills, Leaky Pipes And Storage Tanks
  • Bangladesh permits dismantling of 'toxic' ship
  • France to create 'picnic tax' on pollution

  • Computers figuring out what words mean
  • The Satellite Navigation In Our Brains
  • A Tiny Ancestral Remnant Lends Developmental Edge To Humans
  • Racial lung cancer models aid predictions

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement