STM Lit Access, Corporate Blogging, Project Halo
"Project Halo is a staged research effort by Vulcan Inc. towards the development of a Digital Aristotle, an application capable of producing user and domain-appropriate answers and justifications to novel (previously unseen) questions in an ever-growing number of domains.More information is available from this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. What is of interest to scitech (and all) librarians is that the success of this project will have long-term implications for basic reference service. Digital Aristotle would provide a custom answer to each question, and "produce user and domain-appropriate justifications " each time, eliminating the production of ranked lists and the need for the user to scan them. Is this the next step in the evolution of virtual or chat reference?
The Digital Aristotle will differentiate itself from current search engine technology in a number of important ways. First, search engines require that a specific text containing the answer to a userís query reside somewhere in the searched corpus. Next, the document containing the correct answer must reside fairly high among the ranked lists of documents it returns given the userís specified keywords. And finally, the user needs to scan each document for the appropriate passage."