Some great bits of wisdom from the NYT:
Separately, IBM researchers say they are now routinely using a digital snapshot of the 6 billion documents that make up the nonpornographic World Wide Web to do survey research and answer questions for corporate customers on diverse topics, such as market research and corporate branding.
I guess at IBM, a cigar is just a cigar. Too bad. If the web has proven anything, it proved that some people just don't want a cigar. They want the real thing. At least if IBM isn't mining those sites, we won't all get a case of Big Blue Balls.
There is debate over whether systems like Cyc will be the driving force behind Web 3.0 or whether intelligence will emerge in a more organic fashion, from technologies that systematically extract meaning from the existing Web.
As if meaning were going to be extracted from one that doesn't exist? I guess Doug Lenat will keep getting money from DARPA and the NSA for a pipedream. Ok by me. He seemed like a good guy but maybe someone who spends their whole life trying to make a machine that is as smart as he is should get out more. Pipes aren't nearly as sexy as cigars.
Told ya, Doug: if you want to understand intelligence, study farming. The mammals have no problems becoming smarter. They chase smarter mammals until they marry one, then they wise up fast.