Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Use Wikipedia to make your computer smarter

Still on the Wikipedia kick... Researchers from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are using Wikipedia to give computers context information and make connections between different words. See the article here. For example, when a spam filter encounters a word like “B12” and needs to determine if the email should be marked as spam, the filter currently doesn’t know that B12 is a vitamin (the subject of many spam emails) unless the email also uses the term vitamin. But by examining the Wikipedia article on B12, the spam filter could be smart and deduce that an email with B12 is trying to sell vitamins. The same information could have been obtained by searching for B12 using a search engine, but the results aren’t necessarily vetted. That’s the Wikipedia advantage.