Stanford building "Smart Email" system, knows your intent


  • San Francisco (CA) - Stanford University scientists have developed an email system which can determine who your messages are for without providing destination users. The system is currently being perfected to also know whether or not their email address is on file, and if not then whether or not it can find it online or through known local resources - such as university rosters.

    The system uses semantic technology which "understands" the meaning of that which you type. When it encounters what it determines may be your intended recipients, it checks your contact list and, if not found, can scan local resources or the Internet looking for that person's email address.

    The system has been tested by Stanford along with fellow researchers in Ireland and Austria. The initial system worked so well it will soon be rolled out to about 6,000 students in Stanford's Computer Science department later this year.

    According to AFP, several "big corporations" have already expressed interest in such a system. According to Michael Genesereth, Stanford Computer Science associate professor, "The idea is to change the way we address email. You really want to send messages to people, not a string of characters. This way, you describe the person you want to receive the email instead of characters." He goes on to say, "In a sense, your address book does become obsolete."

    See the original AFP article republished on Yahoo News Canada.

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