Crosswords, The Web And ‘Shallow Knowledge’

Software is getting better and better at doing things that were thought to be the province of conscious intelligence – crossword puzzles, for example. A program called WebCrow has just beaten a number of human participants in a bilingual crossword challenge against the clock. WebCrow works by searching the web using terms from the puzzle clues, and trying words of the right length from the results as answers. This isn’t true artificial intelligence, granted, but it is being hailed as part of “a trend to use the web as a shallow source of human knowledge for artificial intelligence.”