With the reams of stuff I spewing out at ETech, there's a real danger this will get lost in the middle, but I persist. Peter Novig, Director of Search Quality at Google will be speaking at this week's CS Dept. Colloquium. If you're in the area and interested, you ought to try to go. I think it will be very good. I'm genuinely sorry I'm going to be in CA and miss it. Here's Peter's abstract:
The system of publishing the written word has made more knowledge available to more people than any other technology. No other system comes within a factor of a million. Now that a good portion of this written material is available online, it can be processed by computer. But the written word is notoriously imprecise and ambiguous, so currently the best way to make use of it is to leverage the intelligence and language understanding ability of author and reader, and relegate the computer to the more modest role of connecting the two. Even this modest role still leaves a number of challenges in computer science, computational lingusitics, and artificial intelligence, which will be discussed.
The colloquium will be held, as is our tradition, on Thursday at 11am in 1170 TMCB.