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Wikipedia Used for Artificial Intelligence 177

eldavojohn writes "It may be no surprise but Wikipedia is now being used in the field of artificial intelligence. The applications for this may be endless. For instance, the front of spam fighting is a tough one and it looks as though researchers are now turning towards an ontology or taxonomy based solution to fight spammers. The concept is also on the forefront of artificial intelligence and progress towards an application passing the Turing Test and creating semantically aware applications. The article comments on uses of Wikipedia in this manner: '"... spam filters block all messages containing the word 'vitamin,' but fail to block messages containing the word B12. If the program never saw B12 before, it's just a word without any meaning. But you would know it's a vitamin," Markovitch said. "With our methodology, however, the computer will use its Wikipedia-based knowledge base to infer that 'B12' is strongly associated with the concept of vitamins, and will correctly identify the message as spam," he added.'"
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Wikipedia Used for Artificial Intelligence

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  • by MoHaG (1002926) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:31PM (#17499066) Homepage
    With the example of using Wikipedia for spam filtering as mentioned in the post, maybe more articles need to be written on spam-slang for Viagra....
  • by CRCulver (715279) <> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:35PM (#17499108) Homepage

    Buy the federal phamacon regulatory agency's approved Be-12 from our licenced apotecaries! It's Be-12, the addition to your daily sustinence intake that makes it easier to just Be you!

    I suspect that any skilled spammer can work around such filters through circumlocution. Some of the penis spam I've been getting lately is really impressive in how oblique a reference to sex can be and yet still be immediately understandable.

  • Save me! Math. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:38PM (#17499148)
    "The applications for this may be endless. For instance, the front of spam fighting is a tough one and it looks as though researchers are now turning towards an ontology or taxonomy based solution to fight spammers. "

    So what happened to bayesian filters as our saviour []?
  • by WilliamSChips (793741) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ytinifni.lluf.> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:50PM (#17499286) Journal
    You don't think there are hundreds of thousands of zombifiable computers in the United States? And what about people with business connections in China or Korea?
  • Since when (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trifish (826353) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:54PM (#17499316)
    Since when a database + automated search (keyword patterns and relations) = artifical intelligence?
  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @01:58PM (#17499358)
    However many academic papers and spam filters throw their ever-more-elaborate algorithms at this issue, it is an arms race that cannot be won by the "good guys", as long as lawmakers keep pretending that technology alone could prevent the effects of sociopathic behavior: unsolicited bulk messages won't go away unless sending them is severely punishable and vigorously prosecuted in all nations that contribute to the problem. This should have happened more than a decade ago, but now the world is simply running out of storage, bandwidth and CPU cycles much too quickly to afford waiting another decade (or even a year) for serious, intransigent anti-spam legislation that is long overdue.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:01PM (#17499392)
    by spam slang, do you mean stuff like V1AGRA or V14GR4 or V1I1A1G1R1A?
    If so, I'm pretty sure thats a pattern recognition problem.
    As long as the AI knew what the correct spelling for viagra,it would be able to recognise the characters of the word viagra in V1I1A1G1R1A.
    Also you could train an AI to recognise 1 as I or L so that when the text V14GRA appears, it knows what viagra is, and realises it looks like V14GR4 so it raises the probability of the text being spam.

    More abstract phrases would be harder to classify, but there is a link to slang words for stuff like lish []

    so stuff like "got wood?" etc could in theory be classified.
  • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:17PM (#17499548)
    I agree that using Wikipedia opens up the knowledge base to strategic contamination. Any party with a vested interest could alter certain information and bias AIs using it. That is why I think the Israeli approach cited will run into problems.

    In my own research I've looked at the problem of AI knowledgebase contamination and know that unless a truth validation system is employed, it is all too easy to condemn the poor AI to reasoning with flawed data. And it's very difficult to design a good validation mechanism. Can you use 'common' knowledge and opinion to check against? Well, the masses aren't always right. There are a lot of falsehoods floating around the Internet. Collecting a pool of information from various sources requires effort to cross-check and evaluate.

    Of course humans face the same problem, and a lot of people reason with incomplete, incorrect, invalid data. Which might explain why the dollar is dropping versus the Euro. :)

  • by iamacat (583406) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @02:28PM (#17499632)
    There are lots of legit e-mails discussing vitamins, viagara or even penis enlargement, this post included.
  • Infer too much and the false positive rate skyrockets, though...
  • Re:Since when (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:06PM (#17501094) Journal
    What part of human/animal intelligence is not detecting, storing, and applying patterns and relations?

    The creative part?
  • by Gwwfps (912993) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:55PM (#17501504)
    Um, so? That doesn't make it inappropriate to block traffic from places where the overwhelming majority of the packets are toxic.

    I would think that the majority of inbound mail those places get from say the US will be "toxic" as well. When legitimate traffic between two regions are scarce (like between places with differing languages and a large geographical seperation), of course the spam will seem overwhelming by proportion.

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?