Grokbase Groups Perl ai August 2001
FAQ

Lee Goddard wrote:
The objective of Project Earth is to build a database of factual information
relevant to any aspect of life by collating voluntary contributions made by
project participants.
Does anyone remember the name of the project that tried to
program a database with the equivelant knowledge of a three
year-old child? It's still running, after I think 30 years.
Did that project utilise a world-wide network of contributors like this Yes.
one aims to do or did it involve a limited team? Of course then you
have the problem of people entering junk data in the database. I
No. They were academics with some savvy.
suppose one solution would be to have a review system like the PGP web
of trust where a given fact could be trusted in accordance with how many
people have confirmed it and how trusted a given person is considered to
be (probably has a neat parallel with how humans choose to believe
something).
A good idea even with trusted sources, I think.
But the main problem with this approach in general IMHO is surely the
best you can hope for is a sophisticated database searching program that
can tell you $string is/= $otherstring. By itself it wouldn't even have
much hope of passing the turing test let alone be arguably
'intelligent'. Or am I missing something?
I'm not sure any of these are intended to be applications, Steve; rather
they seem to be exactly what you say, data bases. Fantastic projects,
all of them, but do we really need to split our efforts? If the MS thing
is like most MS things, then I guess we do. You know that the Encarta
edition for Italy claims Marconi invented the radio? And the UK edition
claims the Scottish inventor Eddison came up with it? Neither version is
free, of course.

Lee

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