Durham Zoo: Powering a Search-&-Innovation Engine with Collective Intelligence

Richard Absalom, Dap Hartmann

Abstract


Purpose – Durham Zoo (hereinafter – DZ) is a project to design and operate a concept search engine for science and technology. In DZ, a concept includes a solution to a problem in a particular context.
Design – Concept searching is rendered complex by the fuzzy nature of a concept, the many possible implementations of the same concept, and the many more ways that the many implementations can be expressed in natural language. An additional complexity is the diversity of languages and formats, in which the concepts can be disclosed.
Humans understand language, inference, implication and abstraction and, hence, concepts much better than computers, that in turn are much better at storing and processing vast amounts of data.
We are 7 billion on the planet and we have the Internet as the backbone for Collective Intelligence. So, our concept search engine uses humans to store concepts via a shorthand that can be stored, processed and searched by computers: so, humans IN and computers OUT.
The shorthand is classification: metadata in a structure that can define the content of a disclosure. The classification is designed to be powerful in terms of defining and searching concepts, whilst suited to a crowdsourcing effort. It is simple and intuitive to use. Most importantly, it is adapted to restrict ambiguity, which is the poison of classification, without imposing a restrictive centralised management.
In the classification scheme, each entity is shown together in a graphical representation with related entities. The entities are arranged on a sliding scale of similarity. This sliding scale is effectively fuzzy classification.
Findings – The authors of the paper have been developing a first classification scheme for the technology of traffic cones, this in preparation for a trial of a working system. The process has enabled the authors to further explore the practicalities of concept classification. The CmapTools knowledge modelling kit to develop the graphical representations has been used.
Practical implications – Concept searching is seen as having two categories: prior art searching, which is searching for what already exists, and solution searching: a search for a novel solution to an existing problem.
Prior art searching is not as efficient a process, as all encompassing in scope, or as accurate in result, as it could and probably should be. The prior art includes library collections, journals, conference proceedings and everything else that has been written, drawn, spoken or made public in any way. Much technical information is only published in patents. There is a good reason to improve prior art searching: research, industry, and indeed humanity faces the spectre of patent thickets: an impenetrable legal space that effectively hinders innovation rather than promotes it. Improved prior-art searching would help with the gardening and result in fewer and higher-quality patents. Poor-quality patents can reward patenting activity per se, which is not what the system was designed for. Improved prior-art searching could also result in less duplication in research, and/or lead to improved collaboration.
As regards solution search, the authors of the paper believe that much better use could be made of the existing literature to find solutions from non-obvious areas of science and technology. The so-called cross industry innovation could be joined by biomimetics, the inspiration of solutions from nature.
Crowdsourcing the concept shorthand could produce a system ‘by the people, for the people’, to quote Abraham Lincoln out of context. A Citizen Science and Technology initiative that developed a working search engine could generate revenue for academia. Any monies accruing could be invested in research for the common good, such as the development of climate change mitigation technologies, or the discovery of new antibiotics.

Originality – The authors know of no similar systems in development


Keywords


concept search; classification; collective intelligence

Full Text:

PDF

References


Broughton, V. 2006. 'The need for a faceted classification as the basis of all methods of information retrieval', Aslib Proceedings 58 (1/2), 49-72.

Dong, X. L., Murphy, K., Gabrilovich, E., Heitz, G., Horn, W., Lao, N. and Zhang, W. 2014. Knowledge Vault: A Web-scale approach to probabilistic knowledge fusion.

Baruchelli, B. and Succi, G. 2013. A Fuzzy Approach to Faceted Classification and Retrieval of Reusable Software Components, DISA, Università di Trento, Via Inama 5, I-38100 Trento, Italia.

Grenwald, G. and MacAskill, E. 2013. “NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others”, The Guardian on 7 June 2013, URL: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data; Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Kelly III, J. E. and Hamm, S. 2013. Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing, Columbia University Press, p. 160.

Lin, Th. 2012. "Cracking Open the Scientific Process". The New York Times. Accessed 9 August 2012.

Nateog. 2013. “Health from above: a drone to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims” at The Verge on August 24, 2013; URL: www.theverge.com/2013/8/24/4654514/definetz-height-tech-defibrillator-carrying-drone-in-germany; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Rayward,W. B. 1994. "Visions of Xanadu: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and Hypertext,", Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Vol 45. Also available via URL: people.lis.illinois.edu/~wrayward/otlet/xanadu.htm; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Russell, K. 2014. “An Israeli Company Is Testing Flying Ambulance Drones” at Business Insider on Jan. 30, 2014; URL: www.businessinsider.com/israel-testing-flying-ambulance-drones-2014-1#ixzz3J9KN455K; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Simpson, J. M. 2014. “Google Tells Court You Cannot Expect Privacy When Sending Messages to Gmail -- People Who Care About Privacy Should Not Use Service, Consumer Watchdog Says”, at Consumer Watchdog on 8/12/2013, URL: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/google-tells-court-you-cannot-expect-privacy-when-sending-messages-gmail-people-who-care; Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Stewart, J. 2014. Google tests drone deliveries in Project Wing trials, at BBC World Service Radio, Los Angeles, 28 August 2014; URL: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28964260, Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Sullivan, G. 2014. “Sheryl Sandberg not sorry for Facebook mood manipulation study” at The Washington Post, URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/03/sheryl-sandberg-not-sorry-for-facebook-mood-manipulation-study; Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Surowiecki, J. 2005. The wisdom of crowds. Random House LLC.

Tadić, D., Arsovski1, S., and Stefanović, M. (2012). Designing of network for the dismantling centers of the end-of-life vehicles by fuzzy abc method, 6th International Quality Conference, June 08th 2012, Center for Quality, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kragujevac.

The Targe. 2013. “Glasgow rallies to save Wellington Cone” at The Targe. Publiction date 12 November 2013; URL: http://thetarge.co.uk/article/current-affairs/0137/glasgow-rallies-to-save-wellington-cone, Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

TTCO. 2014. The Traffic Cone Occasional: a multi-media group exhibition, Event information at www.mobius.org/events/traffic-cone-occasional, Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Vaidhyanathan, S. 2011. The Googlization of Everything (and why we should worry), University of California Press, p. 280.

Webredactie Communication. 2014. “TU Delft's ambulance drone drastically increases chances of survival of cardiac arrest patients” at TUdelft.nl on 27 October 2014; URL: www.tudelft.nl/en/current/latest-news/article/detail/ambulance-drone-tu-delft-vergroot-overlevingskans-bij-hartstilstand-drastisch; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014a. “Rosalind Franklin”, URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalind_Franklin; Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014b. “Maurice Wilkins”, URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Wilkins; Accesed on 11 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014c. Article on Freebase. (article modification from 14 November 2014), URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebase, Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014d. “Printing press”, URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014e. “Licensing of the Press Act 1662”, URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensing_of_the_Press_Act_1662; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Wikipedia. 2014f. “Statute of Anne”, URL: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Anne; Accesed on 14 November, 2014.

Zeller, D. (2003). Crick's 31 December 1961 letter to Jacques Monod was discovered in the Archives of the Pasteur Institute by Doris Zeller, then reprinted in Nature 425: 15. 4 September 2003. Bibcode:2003 Natur.425...15Z. doi:10.1038/425015b.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/ST-14-4-2-01

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




"Social Technologies" ISSN online 2029-7564