A radical new approach to search engine technology has been developed by True Knowledge that has the potential to change the way factual information is made accessible via the Internet.
It neatly side steps the problem of getting computers to read, by structuring facts in a way that machines and humans can easily understand.
The company is looking for beta testers to help explore the potential of this next generation technology.
True Knowledge’s unique online tool is able to provide an intelligent response to questions without human intervention by applying information gathered from several sources.
William Tunstall-Pedoe, Founder of True Knowledge, has been working in this area for many years, as he explains:
“The big challenge since the Internet began has been getting computers to read and understand the thousands of text-based web pages that are created every hour.
“Traditionally, search engines use statistical relationships between the words to find documents and web pages that might be relevant to the subject of the search. But these systems will never be able to make sense of the content.
“What makes our technology so ground-breaking is that instead of trying to teach a computer to read we have developed a way of capturing information as discrete facts that can be understood by a machine. This creates a knowledge-base that is capable of learning, deducing the answer to a question from the information it already has and adding new information gained from interaction with the questioner to expand the depth and breadth of its knowledge.”
True Knowledge technology uses a structured knowledge-base into which facts are entered as entities with properties and attributes. Knowledge is represented as relationships between these entities.
For example the celebrity Jennifer Lopez is entered into the knowledge-base as a person. The system already understands the concept of person, gender and marital status so when it is asked ‘Is Jennifer Lopez single?’ it will interpret this to be a question about her relationships not her musical output.
True Knowledge is currently seeking beta testers to put their question-answering website through its paces, and add knowledge to expand the service’s encyclopaedic capabilities.
Tunstall-Pedoe explains that it is easy to add facts to the knowledge-store.
“The site leads you through the knowledge addition process, giving you initial options and asking you to confirm assertions and explain further details. Information is added in the form of discrete facts, rather than as lengthy passages of prose, so it is in a form that can be easily understood by both computers and humans. It is possible to add new knowledge from scratch, or to build upon existing facts by adding relationships or attributes. You also have the chance to endorse or contradict knowledge that has already been added by other people,” he says.
The accessibility of the stored information to computers means that the system can also be used to provide API services via a computer-computer interface.
Examples of the kinds of services possible include local time calculations, name-to-gender, and geo-location based on IP address.