The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a project to build a search engine and technologies that will index and organize publicly available information found deep in the Web, the parts not typically indexed by Google and Bing and other commercial engines.
The Memex project, an abbreviation for memory and index, will consist of tools to support military and government agencies in their search for publicly available information on the Internet. It will apply to any public domain content.
Initially, Memex tools will target human trafficking. The use of forums, chats, advertisements, job postings, hidden services, and more continues to enable a growing industry of what DARPA Program Manager Chris White calls "modern slavery." The ability to curate the index, along with configurable interfaces for search and analysis, would let those searching to uncover trafficking schemes.
The commercial sex trade has grown across the Web in forums, chats, advertisements, and job postings. Earlier this week, DARPA posted a proposal and paper outlining the project
The vision creates a new paradigm for search that would tailor indexed content, search results, and interface tools to individual users and specific subject areas, rather than the other way around, White explains.
Memex will explore domain-specific indexing, domain-specific search, and applications for the department of defense. DARPA will build the project on open source technology and commodity hardware.
The project borrows its name from Vannevar Bush’s classic 1945 article "As We May Think." In the article the author envisions a world where computers access the collective memories of every human on the planet.