Google Research

What if the primary goal of the web was to foster curiosity?

Abstract

People go to the web to satisfy their curiosity. The web contains resources that can help: articles, videos, tutorials, online communities, and online courses, among others. In analogy to the semantic web proposal, which was motivated by a desire to structure the web to be more understandable and usable by machines [Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila, 2001], we raise the question: How would we rethink the web with the primary goal of fostering and satisfying human curiosity? We propose the {\it curiosity web}, based on the intuition that the meaning of resources, such as articles, books, and videos, can be expressed in terms of the questions they address [Paritosh and Marcus, 2016]. It has three representational elements: {\it curiosity}, a semantic primitive for an abstracted question or information need with a URI and textual content in multiple languages; {\it relationships between curiosities}, such as relevant or prerequisite; {\it relationships between curiosities and resources}, such as addresses or satisfies. The goal of the curiosity web is to provide an exoskeleton for organizing information by the curiosities they address. The curiosity web is a dual of existing semantic networks and knowledge graphs [Collins and Quillian, 1972; Sowa, 2006; Hillis, 2004]. Instead of focusing on describing meaning using analytic primitives and compositions of knowledge, this approach represents meaning of resources in a holistic manner, through the curiosities it addresses.

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work