Gehad Hussein touches the realms of Egyptian thinking machines
Information is not knowledge" Albert Einstein once said. Haitham Fadeel, 24, was struck by this epiphany about four years ago, and decided ever since to turn information technology -- as we know it -- into "knowledge technology".
Thus KNgine was created by none other than an accounting student from Port Said, who confessed he did not have much studying to do, so focussed instead on teaching himself computer science and search engine creation.
Today, KNgine is the most advanced search engine internationally, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Benchmark, surpassing American and Israeli efforts to create something similar.
So what exactly is KNgine?
Simply put, KNgine is a thinking search engine. Search engines like Google or Bing work as finders: they find the words the user looks for on the Internet by skimming through all websites. That way, search results usually return with millions of websites, all of which include the exact search terms. Today, KNgine gets about 75,000 hits a day.
With KNgine, Fadeel is trying to make the machine "read" the Internet like humans do, so that it "understands" the content. All the information it gets or "reads" is archived in an entity that is similar to the human mind, meaning it can make conclusions and think consequential. For example, when one searches "Egypt" the machine will go through the websites and in the end "understand" and define Egypt as a country with borders, etc.
Another example: if one types "egypt economy" into KNgine, and clicks "Search" or rather "Know" at this point, the search engine instantly offers the annual Gross Domestic Product growth in the form of numbers and graphs, as well as Egypt's public and external debt, accompanied by a Google map showing the location of Egypt.
"I want to make the machine smarter than the human being. This is my goal," Fadeel announced.
Of course, shifting and moving from information technology to knowledge technology comes with its concerns. Artificial Intelligence will help humanity in ways, but like anything else, if misused, it will have horrendous effects.
"When I started thinking about KNgine, my primary vision was to solve a problem faced by scientists or other people. The idea of KNgine started as a research and today KNgine is actually a functioning company," Fadeel explained.
"Yes, we started with a $0 budget, but when there's a will, there is definitely a way."
The KNgine creator and founder did not get immediate support for his idea. "Most of the research done in Egyptian colleges and universities are disconnected from their realisations, and remain words on paper. Companies do not actually make use of them," Fadeel believes.
"Professors did not support me because the majority of them focus mainly on research out of routine or in order to enhance their academic position, without the passion for knowledge and innovation." Up till now, Fadeel and his brother and co-founder Ashraf have focussed mainly on enhancing the technical part of KNgine, dismissing the marketing and publicising factor.
Being on the brink of changing information technology as we know it and creating something similar to the human brain, Egyptian youths have once again proven that this country does not only have enormous potential but deep-rooted passion and willpower to achieve what was once unachievable.