Here's a search engine for all you boffins and eggheads that makes it easier to learn science

Microsoft co-founder's gift from beyond the grave


The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has added new features to its academic search engine, Semantic Scholar, to make it easier for professionals and plebs to understand and advance research.

Funded by the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) is a nonprofit research institute focused on building AI systems that can understand science.

Semantic Scholar can’t quite do that, but people can - with the right information - and Semantic Scholar might help them. It’s a search engine that pulls the most relevant information for users looking up scientific papers. Built three years ago, the tool is used by two million people each month.

Here’s a link to an example of how it works for a machine learning paper titled: “Why Should I Trust You?": Explaining the Predictions of Any Classifier”.

The whole search engine is built from a knowledge base. Researchers and engineers built tools to like Science Parse, to automatically extract metadata from the PDF files of papers to take the titles, author information, abstract, and references and adds it onto Semantic Scholar. DeepFigures takes all the useful graphs and tables in the paper.

The new features include a column on the right hand side charting the paper’s impact. Natural language processing is used to search for keywords linked to the article to see how often it has been cited by other researchers or discussed on mentioned in Twitter discussions.

"Male researchers are about 33 per cent more likely than female researchers to cite themselves in research papers. We remove self-citations to level the playing field so that the metrics are better," Oren Etzioni, CEO of AI2, explained to The Register.

What’s also handy is all the stuff that’s collected under “Supplemental Content”. The knowledge base crawls the internet looking for any pages that mention the paper, and decides if the information is useful to add, Doug Raymond, general manager of the Semantic Scholar project, explained to The Register.

AI

Finally, a use for AI and good old-fashioned simulations: Hunting down E.T. in outer space

READ MORE

This can include YouTube videos that explain the research or recorded talks where the researchers have presented their work at conferences. It also has links to the GitHub repo if the associated code is public, PowerPoint presentations and also a series of links to blogs and news articles discussing the work.

All of this done automatically for over 40 million computer science and biomedicine papers scraped from Arxiv, and journals like Nature or PubMed.

“It’s for professors or educated consumers, anyone who wants to understand what’s going on in science. Semantic Scholar helps cut through “information overload”, and help answer the question: Should I read this paper?,” Etzioni said.

“It lets people from different backgrounds really dive into a subject. They can look at key results, whether its from clinical trials or data in graphs or tables. They can look at the software associated with it in an easy layout, and this could help drive research forward.”

At the moment, it takes a while for new papers to pop up on the search engine, up to two weeks for Arxiv ones. “We’re in the process of updating the system so the wait time goes down to about 48 hours,” Etzioni added. AI2 also hopes to expand to include other subjects like biology, physics or chemistry. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading
  • FTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid's data
    Trade watchdog, and President, reminds that COPPA can ban ya

    The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

    In a policy statement, the agency said, "Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools."

    The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

    Continue reading
  • Mysterious firm seeks to buy majority stake in Arm China
    Chinese joint venture's ousted CEO tries to hang on - who will get control?

    The saga surrounding Arm's joint venture in China just took another intriguing turn: a mysterious firm named Lotcap Group claims it has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 percent stake in Arm China from existing investors in the country.

    In a Chinese-language press release posted Wednesday, Lotcap said it has formed a subsidiary, Lotcap Fund, to buy a majority stake in the joint venture. However, reporting by one newspaper suggested that the investment firm still needs the approval of one significant investor to gain 51 percent control of Arm China.

    The development comes a couple of weeks after Arm China said that its former CEO, Allen Wu, was refusing once again to step down from his position, despite the company's board voting in late April to replace Wu with two co-chief executives. SoftBank Group, which owns 49 percent of the Chinese venture, has been trying to unentangle Arm China from Wu as the Japanese tech investment giant plans for an initial public offering of the British parent company.

    Continue reading
  • SmartNICs power the cloud, are enterprise datacenters next?
    High pricing, lack of software make smartNICs a tough sell, despite offload potential

    SmartNICs have the potential to accelerate enterprise workloads, but don't expect to see them bring hyperscale-class efficiency to most datacenters anytime soon, ZK Research's Zeus Kerravala told The Register.

    SmartNICs are widely deployed in cloud and hyperscale datacenters as a means to offload input/output (I/O) intensive network, security, and storage operations from the CPU, freeing it up to run revenue generating tenant workloads. Some more advanced chips even offload the hypervisor to further separate the infrastructure management layer from the rest of the server.

    Despite relative success in the cloud and a flurry of innovation from the still-limited vendor SmartNIC ecosystem, including Mellanox (Nvidia), Intel, Marvell, and Xilinx (AMD), Kerravala argues that the use cases for enterprise datacenters are unlikely to resemble those of the major hyperscalers, at least in the near term.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022