What if the wisdom of Web could be yours, without having to read through it one page at a time? That's what the military wants.
DARPA has hired a company to develop a reading machine to reduce the gap between the ever increasing mountain of digitized text and the intelligence community's insatiable appetite for data input.
BBN Technologies was awarded the $29.7 million contract to develop a universal text engine capable of capturing knowledge from written matter and rendering it into a format that artificial intelligence systems (AI) and human analysts can work with. (PDF)
The military will use the Machine Reading Program, as it's officially called, to automatically monitor the technological and political activities of nation states and transnational organizations --which could mean everything from al-Qaeda to the U.N....
BBN also expects the program to enable a plethora of new civilian applications, everything from intelligent bots to personal tutors. The system could provide unprecedented access and automated analysis of the world's libraries, allowing for vastly expanded cultural awareness and historical research....
BBN already offers a broadcast monitoring system that automatically transcribes real-time audio stream and translates it into English, creating a continuously updated, searchable archive of international television broadcasts....
Update. Also see our past posts on open source intelligence.
Peter Suber at 6/29/2009 11:59:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.