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The exerpt about Hal was a little freaky, though. I don't think that makes for good press, when your technology partner claims 1) machine intelligence, and 2) references a classic example of how it could go bad, very bad.
I like the idea, though. Imagine the different formats, and thesauri? of the technologies that lycos is using, fast, dmoz, and it's own spider. Now with this other partnership, it has a way to merge the different meters of matching queries, and hopefully will become more accurate.
I dunno... I find the whole idea of functioning artificial intelligence really creepy.
As to whether it will help search results or not... I think it's probably MAJOR overkill on a search engine.
"Linguistic methods for improving the indexing of Web pages and the interpreting of queries will play an increasingly important role for search engines and intranet retrieval systems. As the number of Web pages, as well as intranet documents, grows rapidly, more sophisticated linguistic tools will improve relevancy by adding greater structure and semantic classification to indexes."
October Press Release [fast.no]