Can computers learn to read? We think so. "Read the Web" is a research project that attempts to create a computer system that learns over time to read the web. Since January 2010, our computer system called NELL (Never-Ending Language Learner) has been running continuously, attempting to perform two tasks each day:
- First, it attempts to "read," or extract facts from text found in hundreds of millions of web pages (e.g., playsInstrument(George_Harrison, guitar)).
- Second, it attempts to improve its reading competence, so that tomorrow it can extract more facts from the web, more accurately.
So far, NELL has accumulated over 50 million candidate beliefs by reading the web, and it is considering these at different levels of confidence. NELL has high confidence in 1,958,173 of these beliefs — these are displayed on this website. It is not perfect, but NELL is learning. You can track NELL's progress below or @cmunell on Twitter, browse and download its knowledge base, read more about our technical approach, or join the discussion group.