Friday, September 24, 2004

NewsJunkie to help Microsoft develop search app

March 24, 2004

Microsoft's project, called NewsJunkie, could help it develop a search function in Windows to compete with Google.

It's also planned as part of MSN's upcoming news page, called Newsbot. Eric Horvitz is an admitted news junkie. But like most Web surfers, he's been getting an overdose of the same information.

Horvitz and Susan Dumais, both senior Microsoft researchers, are creating technology to make searching for news more effective.

Using principles of artificial intelligence and information retrieval, NewsJunkie keeps track of what a reader has already seen. It reorganizes news stories to rank those with the most new information at the top and push those with repetitive information to the bottom, or filter them out entirely.

NewsJunkie can help improve news alerts beyond key words to offer only new information, the researchers said.

Dumais is working on a similar project to make search happen behind the scenes to recognize what you're working on, search your hard drive and automatically present related files.

``In this day and age there's such replication around,'' Horvitz said. ``As Google's news site says, `There are 1,400 other news articles on this topic,' but there's no guidance for what you might look at next. You have to say, `How can I cut to the chase?' ''

With the explosion of online news, ``one of the frustrating things is that a few hours later you see the same stories,'' said Dumais. ``You should be able to say, `Just show me the new stuff.' ''

Dumais and Horvitz plan to present their research at the annual World Wide Web conference in New York in May.

Source: Mercury News

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