Source: The Economist Answer Engine Research at Microsoft
We've mentioned and linked to articles about "answer engines" numerous times on ResourceShelf. Some new stuff today. Here's an article about the "Ask MSR" research at Microsoft from the current issue of The Economist. From the article, "What is the next stage in the evolution of internet search engines? AltaVista demonstrated that indexing the entire world wide web was feasible. Google's success stems from its uncanny ability to sort useful web pages from dross. But the real prize will surely go to whomever can use the web to deliver a straight answer to a straight question. And Eric Brill, a researcher at Microsoft, intends that his firm will be the first to do that...Ask MSR is still a prototype, although Microsoft is trying to improve it and it may be launched commercially under the name AnswerBot." If you would like to read more, take a look at these papers from MS that have been linked on RS during the past year:
+ Automatic Question Answering: Beyond the Factoid
A 2004 paper by Eric Brill and Radu Soricut. This paper is mentioned in the article.
+ "Web Question Answering: Is More Always Better?"
A 2002 paper by Microsoft researchers.
+ "An Analysis of the AskMSR Question-Answering System"
Another 2002 paper by Microsoft researchers.
In the final section of her review Sophie Alexander looks at how Infotrieve's Mobile Library can reduce an organisation's annual content budget by providing detailed usage data via the new Executive Dashboard, as well as investigating the cost effectiveness of its "just in time" document delivery service.