Harnessing the World’s Knowledge?

We’ve already taken a look at Wolfram Alpha, but there are other entities trying to democratize knowledge, or at least make a great deal of knowledge/ information available to a great deal of people.

 What are your own personal thoughts about where knowledge is headed?

“EVI” (formerly “TRUE KNOWLEDGE”) – the A.I. Answering Platform


You can add a fact to its data base here: http://www.evi.com/add_fact/add

“Our goal is to power a new kind of search experience where users can access the world’s knowledge simply by asking for the information they need in a way that is completely natural to them; just as if they were talking to another human being”

What powers “Evi”? The company claims to offer a unified representation of the world’s knowledge containing factual, common sense, and lexical knowledge …and then build on that base as it gets contributions from users.

1. Who is behind it? (read about the developer who created the famous anagrams featured in the Da Vinci Code book)

2. How does it work?

3. How is Evi different (better?) than Siri?

***What makes True Knowledge different from Google, Wikipedia, and even Wolfram Alpha?

QUORA- “A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it”..

…”When knowledge is put into Quora, it is there forever to be shared with anyone in the future who is interested”…

…”People who read the question pages rate the different answers so that the best ones can rise to the top of the page and make it better”…

…”Inverse blogging (follow topics and questions)”…

…”author’s perspective” is taken into account, as revision logs are transparent and people use their own names/photos.

1. WHO is behind it (hint- Facebook connections!)? (fun fact: employees get free team yoga)

Below is a sample, from none other than the founder of Wikipedia:


2. MOST VIEWED QUESTIONS – have some fun and explore these (I loved the “Coolest looking animal” query and the “Most epic iconic photo” since I am into photography, as well as “Worst design ever” )

3. Check out ANSWERS WITH 40+ UPVOTES – why do you think that is?

4. And of course you can always check out what some famous person, like Ashton Kutcher, has to say in Quora.


Tweet @Quora

RECAPTCHA – Professor Luis von Ahn (brilliant!) explains how CAPTCHA became RECAPTCHA, and how he can harness the world’s brainpower for archiving all the world’s literature.

WE ARE ALL WORKING FOR HIM, and most of us don’t realize it!


TWEET @LuisvonAhn , @reCAPTCHA , @duolingo

Below: More about Luis and how he came up with the ReCaptcha idea (endearing!) – His learning and thinking style is definitely unique. Luis is also Chair of the “COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE” conference 2012. Read more about the topics and speakers HERE.

THE FILTER BUBBLE Eli Pariser explains how the web companies we use tailor their services (including web searches) to our personal tastes. Great, right? Well, actually this “filtering” prevents us from being exposed to ideas that challenge or broaden our world view. (I had the opportunity to see Mr. Pariser speak in person and talk with him afterwards in Boston two summers ago)

1. Let’s play around with Google in class to see if the filter bubble is really happening on our machines. You can also Skype a friend in a different state or country to see if your same search offers decidedly different results. When you go on your next trip, take a screen shot of a search, then try the same one when you return home. ***Also check on Twitter by clicking #discover in the menu – the results are blatantly “tailored for you”.

WIKIPEDIA – Giving free access to the sum of all “Knowledge” – the democratization of Knowledge

1. How did it start and how does it work? Founder Jimmy Wales explains all..


TWEET @jimmy_wales

PEOPLE ARE KNOWLEDGE – Video exploring how ORAL CITATION should be allowed on Wikipedia.

People are Knowledge (subtitled) from Achal R. Prabhala on Vimeo.

2. Did you know there are various levels of editing “Protection” in Wikipedia? Here’s an image and the link describing them


3. Here’s HOW TO EDIT Wikipedia and how to START AN ARTICLE

4. WIKIPEDIA as important as the Pyramids? Wikipedia joins World Heritage List


Brewster Kahle Seeks to Build a Free Digital Library (books, movies, all web history,etc.) – “UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO ALL KNOWLEDGE IS POSSIBLE”

What about REDDIT? (Where good answers “bubble up?”)


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