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.