Saturday, April 22, 2006

Natural Language Interface to Wikipedia

I have been saying for a while that because wikipedia is a database it is much easier to link it into a natual language seach system. The Wikipedia search function is also very limted and does not allow you to type in complete questions like I reciently found out that MIT is already building a very powerful natuaral language interface in their START project. I did a search for "Who was Tesla?" and got a link right to the Wikipedia article. Very cool! Although there seems to be very limited documentation on START and I do not believe that there is an OpenSource version, I believe this points to the direction that wiki software should be moving. Could your relational database bennefit from this? When I was at the Minnesota Department of Education I wanted to build a natural language interface to their "cubes" of student test data. For example "What school district has the highest highest 8th grade math scores for girls?" Give it a try and let me know what you think.