Eiffel Tower Older Than The Statue of Liberty? Ask TrueKnowledge.com
Billing itself as "The Internet Answer Engine," True Knowledge wants to become a premier web source of answers to "complex questions." Its founders want you to believe that True Knowledge "starts where search engines leave off."
Indeed, for complex questions, Google's search resources may fall short. If a question has been asked and posted somewhere, with reasonably close phrasing to the expressions you've chosen to frame a problem, Google or Bing bots will probably index it and deliver plenty of like citation. Of course, the Big Boys' search bots are just as likely to turn up someone posting the question, with no accompanying answer — or, worse, just more muddled, animated and probably irrelevant discourse to wade through. (This is maddeningly common for one of the main uses for a search tool — finding answers to software problems.)
Curious about how the technology works? The TrueKnowledge.com site offers a fairly indirect and unsatisfying explanation. This may be intentional; perhaps the lay public need not understand how the internals of a natural language — or rather natural language question answering — system works. But for those who are working on the semantic web, an active research area in both industry and academia, we have questions!
Nonetheless, poke a little further at trueknowledge.com, such as by asking for an "Advanced Answer" to a question, and it appears that a dependency upon crowdsourced knowledge is part of the strategy. For example, I asked, "How tall was Jackie Onassis?" True Knowledge didn't know, but it knew it didn't know ("Sorry, I don't know the answer to that question"), and it seemed to understand that the question involved dimensionality. Also, it listed a few answers about Jackie Onassis that it was prepared to supply.Continued on the next page