“Can a computer be loaded with the world’s textbook-science knowledge, reason through it and then answer questions in plain English?” It is hard to say if it will pan out, but the concept is interesting. The Seattle Times has more on Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s project:
What is it? The goal is to create a reservoir of textbook scientific knowledge in a computer, which can then synthesize it into clear, understandable answers, like a tutor, or a “Digital Aristotle.”
Who’s paying for it? Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan, is financing three competing teams from 11 organizations with technological expertise and experience in artificial intelligence. The project budget is undisclosed.
How long will it take? The current phase will last 30 months, and if the work makes incremental progress, it will continue. Vulcan says an early version could be available in 10 years; others say it could take decades.