True Knowledge Opens API

5 Comments

True Knowledge, an innovative semantic answer engine that’s currently in closed beta, opened its API today. Answer engines are different from search engines in that they provide answers to questions, rather than the ability to search for keywords in content. With a comprehensive enough knowledge base, True Knowledge should be able to answer nearly any question thrown at it.

While Google (s goog) and other Internet search engines are good at searching for keywords in existing web content, True Knowledge attempts to answer queries such as “Is the Eiffel Tower older than St. Paul’s Cathedral?” or “Who was the U.S. president when Obama was a teenager?” I’m looking forward to comparing True Knowledge with Wolfram Alpha, another answer engine that attempts to answer these types of queries, although using a more computational approach.

Neither True Knowledge nor Wolfram Alpha should be seen as “Google-killers,” however, as they’re tackling a different type of query. Indeed, it’s likely that we’ll see results supplied by True Knowledge’s API inserted into other search engines’ results pages as a best first guess for question-type queries.

5 Comments

Danny Lieberman

Interesting – I was not familiar with them – I spent 1/2 hour playing with the search engine and downloaded / registered-for the API.

A couple comments :
a. the API is pretty straight-forward, I think their PHP examples are overly complex- you could get much better mileage with a little XSL instead of the few hundred lines of script they wrote…
b. the search is slow and 9/10 queries I asked gave – “I don’t understand the question”

c. I took the same queries and googled – the results came back faster and with greater relevance.

SO – I like the idea of knowledge base (even though it’s not new, seems a perennial one that pops up every few years – remember Clear Forest?) but the god is in the details and the implementation – and frankly I’m not switching from google yet

Danny

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