Summary: Los Angeles-based startup project has created a “natural language” search engine that is as natural as it gets: search results are provided by actual human beings. Jatalla.com, provides the Web’s first search engine in which search results are 100% user-generated.
(Original article date: July 2, 2006 (PRweb))
While search engine monoliths continue trying to teach human language skills to computers, a Los Angeles-based startup project has created a “natural language” function that is as natural as it gets: search results are provided by actual human beings.
Expected for beta release in July, the new search engine, Jatalla.com, provides the Web’s first search engine in which search results are 100% user-generated. Initial announcement of the project in June, 2006, provoked a buzz in the industry as well as an outpouring of enthusiasm from Internet users.
“Judging from the pre-launch response we’re getting, there must be a huge demand for genuine alternatives to the major search engines,” a company representative observed.
This week the creators provided additional insights into how the system works.
Through Jatalla.com, any registered user can submit a vote called a “lexivote”, which consists of two parts: (i) a word or phrase and (ii) a list of up to three URLs. This lexivote is counted along with all other lexivotes that include the exact same term. Thereafter, when a user queries the search engine using that term, a list of URLs—ranked according to these lexivotes—is returned. Each user is limited to only one lexivote per search term.
Aside from providing the lexivote mechanism, the Jatalla.com site encourages users to submit lexivotes in both “structured” syntax—using folksonomic tagging—and natural language syntax. Since results are derived from lexivotes submitted by real, live human beings, the Jatalla.com search engine is expected to handle natural language queries that are as complex and subtle as real, live human speech.
“We think that humans speak human languages fluently, and that computers don’t,” the representative continued. “So-called ‘noise words’ are ‘noise’ to computers simply because they are not as smart as people. It’ll be a long time before even the most powerful computers can compete with a fifth-grader in the realm of human speech.”
The Jatalla.com search engine was created by award-winning product development firm Inventerprise LLC, of Los Angeles, and Viking Web Development, Inc., of Fargo, North Dakota. More information can be found at http://www.jatalla.com.