The START Natural Language Question Answering System

The START Natural Language Question Answering System: "START, the world's first Web-based question answering system, has been on-line and continuously operating since December, 1993. It has been developed by Boris Katz and his associates of the InfoLab Group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Unlike information retrieval systems (e.g., search engines), START aims to supply users with 'just the right information,' instead of merely providing a list of hits. Currently, the system can answer millions of English questions about places (e.g., cities, countries, lakes, coordinates, weather, maps, demographics, political and economic systems), movies (e.g., titles, actors, directors), people (e.g., birth dates, biographies), dictionary definitions, and much, much more. Below is a list of some of the things START knows about, with example questions. You can type your question above or select from the following examples."