Analogy Engines – semantic concept description

Some London folks attended a very cool event hosted by BLN and TaylorWessing on 3rd Dec 2009 to network and discuss tech venture in Europe. There I had a fascinating interchange with David Sinclair of Imense and Camtology about “Concept Search”. I had a simple request – “please could you build me a technology where I could type into a search engine a Concept or Idea – and it would return matches, similarities, analogies and perhaps opposites.” Now David is a smart chap and said – yes! for £2m he could. This was cool enough but actually it was the discussion that was more interesting.

If a concept could be described appropriately!! and that’s the challenge, then concept search, mapping, brianstorming, resource finding and virtual team building would be fabulously enhanced. Somehow a “Tarte Tartin” and an “apple pie” would be linked and perhaps even a relationship that says that a one it the opposite of the other but with a lid! Wow! now that would be useful. I can now search for “Tony Blair – Clause 4 – great guy” and it would know to associate links to “Tony Blair – started Iraq War – bad guy” articles for example. This is true knowledge mapping.

So, how do we achieve this? It feels sure that progress is going to be made over the coming four years and I would like to fund startups in this space. I don’t think that this is the Cyc common sense engine that is aiming to “boil the ocean” – nor is it the True knowledge “question answering service”.

This is described most interestingly by David as an analogy engine. Now we will start the process of working out whether baisian stats or NLP are the right tool for building this gem.

NOTED: after discussing this with a number of companies and start-ups, I find that people are getting closer to implementing such ideas in arenas such as IP_hubs, the Document_connections, Expert_tracking through social networks etc.. this field is alive and well if early. More connections to follow.

RESOURCES:
http://www.akshaybhat.com/Aengine/
http://csc.media.mit.edu/
http://divisi.media.mit.edu/
www.instsec.org/tr/CDL.pdf
www.cs.rpi.edu/~musser/gp/tecton/tecton1.ps – Similar

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