Menlo Park, California — Artificial Intelligence techniques are increasingly being employed to improve the ways the World Wide Web works for users around the globe. “Companies like Google have shown the value of advanced algorithms applied to Web data,” says Oren Etzioni, Director of the Turing Center at the University of Washington, and co-chair of the AI and the Web special track at the AAAI-08 conference. For example, behind the scenes of translate.google.com and Google product search are powerful AI techniques at work. “AI has an essential role to play,” continues Etzioni, “both in applied research such as learning to filter spam, and in fundamental AI breakthroughs.” The AI and the Web special track focuses on the use and extension of AI concepts and techniques for the Web. For those curious about how the Web is evolving, this track is an excellent place to meet a number of the researchers actively involved in this evolution, and to hear about their research and development work now underway.
The Web is still a relatively new medium, yet is already a global environment used for research, learning, commerce, socializing, communication and entertainment. We have only just begun to explore and understand how this vast amount of machine-accessible knowledge can be harnessed and developed to better serve human needs and interests, as well as to discover new knowledge. Two examples of this can be found in the co-located sister conference of AAAI- 08, the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI-08).
In the first example, researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China are using various AI techniques to build the largest computerized knowledge repository of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is an ancient medical system that still accounts for around 40% of all health care delivered in China. Users can query and search this vast knowledge store and about the interactions between Chinese herbs and Western prescription drugs.
The second example from IAAI-08 is a system under development at NASA Ames Research Center that is automating the creation of a data map of the entire Earth for the US Geological Survey that will be available to the public at no charge. The system is designed to automatically select roughly 9,500 from over 300,000 Landsat images. The final map will probably also become the next generation backdrop for Google Earth.
These are just two of the many examples of ways that AI is being, and will be, employed to improve the World Wide Web — both in terms of the content available on the Web and the infrastructure that is the Web. The AI and the Web track of the AAAI-08 conference will present a broad set of research topics spanning cutting-edge research across most areas of AI.
For more information about the various aspects of the conferences, please visit: www.aaai.org/Conferences/AAAI/aaai08.php.
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