I have written about Spock – the supposedly computational linguistics heavy search engine – before. I have to admit that I could not see what people were getting so excited about. Recently, I have received an invitation to the Spock’s beta. And I am still not very excited.
Similarly to constantly shifting FreshNotes/Knover, this company started from being all about using information extraction to build content and relations and then quickly moved to mostly human-powered content. The consequence of course is that the taxonomy is substituted with folksonomy and whatever smarts the system has disappears within the noise of multiple people annotating things in myriad different ways.
There is nothing wrong with folksonomy, when it is managed well (e.g. Flickr), but trying to combine the two does not – so far – seem to work for Spock.
This however is my opinion only and I would love somebody else in the same field to give theirs. I have 3 invitations to the Spock’s beta that I can give away. If you are interested, please leave the details in the comments with your contact information and some way to confirm that you are working in the field of computational linguistics (blog, research paper, specialty). I will add a comment of my own once all the invites are gone.