Ionaut: web-based question answering
May 18, 2003 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Ionaut is one example of a web-based question-answering system. These systems have a long way to go to compete with Google (try asking some questions) but it's interesting to see how researchers are using simple linguistic techniques (146k pdf) to return answers from the web.
posted by jamespake (8 comments total)
I prefer to have a human answer my questions. For a few dollars, you can try Google Answers
posted by Mwongozi at 4:09 PM on May 18, 2003

I know about Google Answers - I managed to become one of their researchers but I found that few of the questions interested me and those that did were either snapped up by another researcher or offered too much or too little money for the time I wanted to spend. In the end I answered one 5 dollar question. Imagine my surprise when I got a cheque several months later for 3 dollars sent via the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Then, as if that wasn't enough, just a few weeks ago a parcel arrives with a customs duty (which I didn't have to pay) - I opened it up to find a black monogrammed Google blanket wrapped in a bow as a 1st birthday present for Google Answers. Aaah, lovely Google. I'm not the only one.
posted by jamespake at 4:40 PM on May 18, 2003

AnswerBus is another NL-based question-answering system layered on (among other engines) Google and Babelfish. It's not an NL engine per se, but it achives similar results. For my questions it was more precise than Ionaut, though that is probably a testament to Google's effectiveness more than anything.
posted by gentle at 5:22 PM on May 18, 2003

That Google Answers thing is so Neal Stephenson.

CIC and all.

posted by xmutex at 6:37 PM on May 18, 2003

AnswerBus is great. When I first discovered it, I raved about it so much that they have a quote from my blog on their "what people are saying about AnswerBus" page. %)
posted by kindall at 11:31 PM on May 18, 2003

I tried both, typing the first question that popped into my mind.

Question: Where is Slovenia?
AnswerBus: Little Slovenia straddles Eastern and Western Europe.

Question: Where is Slovenia?
Ionaut: Slovenia Sex Links! Your source of Free Sex!
posted by Ljubljana at 2:08 AM on May 19, 2003

Why do birds suddenly appear?

Can I buy your magic bus?

Are we really happy in this lonely game we play?


    When will I be loved?

Possible answers:

    Sorry, I found no answer for your question.
posted by e.e. coli at 3:51 AM on May 19, 2003

When will I be loved?
1930, according to Ionaut. Note that the list on the left of it's results are it's best guess answers. 'Who runs metafilter' returns 'Matt' at no. 1 with 'Steve McQueen' a lowly 5th. 'When was the Battle of Hastings?' correctly gives '1066' and 'Who is the President of the United States?' returns 'Hitler'. Not bad, eh?
posted by jamespake at 4:16 AM on May 19, 2003

« Older Ebay Doll   |   cheats Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments