Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Intelligent Web by Gautam Shroff

  • Describes cutting edge developments in the power and possibilities of the Web
  • Explains how Google and other leading companies have developed ever smarter searching and advert placement
  • Shows how 'Web intelligence' is emerging from increasingly smart algorithms that can sift, select, aggregate, and weigh up relevant information
  • Explains the principles of logic and computer science behind these apparently intelligent procedures
  • Considers possible similarities with how the human brain handles data
  • Looks at new applications such as self-driving cars
As we use the Web for social networking, shopping, and news, we leave a personal trail. 
These days, linger over a Web page selling lamps, and they will turn up at the advertising margins as you move around the Internet, reminding you, tempting you to make that purchase. Search engines such as Google can now look deep into the data on the Web to pull out instances of the words you are looking for.
And there are pages that collect and assess information to give you a snapshot of changing political opinion. 
These are just basic examples of the growth of "Web intelligence", as increasingly sophisticated algorithms operate on the vast and growing amount of data on the Web, sifting, selecting, comparing, aggregating, correcting; following simple but powerful rules to decide what matters. 
While original optimism for Artificial Intelligence declined, this new kind of machine intelligence is emerging as the Web grows ever larger and more interconnected.
Gautam Shroff takes us on a journey through the computer science of search, natural language, text mining, machine learning, swarm computing, and semantic reasoning, from Watson to self-driving cars. 

This machine intelligence may even mimic at a basic level what happens in the brain.

Readership: Popular science and mathematics readers interested in computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as students of these courses.
[Source: Oxford University Press website.]
 My Comments
I completed an online course "Web Intelligence and Big Data" taught by the author a few months back. This book was released towards the ending of the course and I bought a Kindle edition to understand the topics better.
Gautam Shroff has taken a very logical and systematic approach to explain the fascinating area of Web Intelligence.
While the topics in this book are really interesting, the verbose explanations given by the author on many of the concepts were quite confusing. More illustrations would have helped. The book has just about half-a-dozen pictures, which for a content of 300 odd pages on technical topics is quite less.
It will take another reading of the book for me to fully grasp the explanations.
But overall this book is quite a good introduction to Web Intelligence, though not a very light read.


Goodreads Rating - 4.2 out of 5 ( 5 Ratings)


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