The Answer Machine

The Answer Machine

Susan Feldman
ISBN: 9781608459346 | PDF ISBN: 9781608459353
Copyright © 2012 | 137 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2012

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The Answer Machine is a practical, non-technical guide to the technologies behind information seeking and analysis. It introduces search and content analytics to software buyers, knowledge managers, and searchers who want to understand and design effective online environments. The book describes how search evolved from an expert-only to an end user tool. It provides an overview of search engines, categorization and clustering, natural language processing, content analytics, and visualization technologies. Detailed profiles for Web search, eCommerce search, eDiscovery, and enterprise search contrast the types of users, uses, tasks, technologies, and interaction designs for each. These variables shape each application, although the underlying technologies are the same. Types of information tasks and the trade-offs between precision and recall, time, volume and precision, and privacy vs. personalization are discussed within this context. The book examines trends toward convenient, context-aware computing, big data and analytics technologies, conversational systems, and answer machines. The Answer Machine explores IBM Watson's DeepQA technology and describes how it is used to answer health care and Jeopardy questions. The book concludes by discussing the implications of these advances: how they will change the way we run our businesses, practice medicine, govern, or conduct our lives in the digital age.

Table of Contents

The Query Process and Barriers to Finding Information Online
Online Search: An Evolution
Search and Discovery Technologies: An Overview
Information Access: A Spectrum of Needs and Uses
Future Tense: The Next Era in Information Access and Discovery
Answer Machines

About the Author(s)

Susan Feldman, Synthexis
Susan E. Feldman Sue Feldman is CEO of Synthexis, a consulting firm that provides business advisory services to the search industry and to buyers of search and text analytics technologies. In her book, The Answer Machine Sue discusses the technologies behind information seeking and analysis, and their central role in the future of computing. She speaks frequently at industry events on topics such as conversational systems, big data technologies, and the hidden costs of information work. She wrote the chapter on search engines for the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, and was the first editor of the IEEE Computer Society's Digital Library News.Sue’s clients rely on her for strategic advice and business coaching, as well as for her wide network of contacts in the industry. Before founding Synthexis, Sue was Vice President for Search and Discovery Technologies at IDC (International Data Corporation), where she directed research on the technologies and markets for search, text analytics, categorization, translation, mobile and rich media search. Prior to coming to IDC, Ms. Feldman was founder and president of Datasearch, an independent technology advisory firm, where she consulted on usability and on information retrieval technologies. She is a founder and former president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals,a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, and has won numerous research and writing awards. Ms.Feldman holds degrees from Cornell University in linguistics and from the University of Michigan in information science.


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