Often computer users need a specific answer to a specific question, but are forced to do a general search of the Internet. Not only does this waste time, but the user has to do all the work himself. The InfoLab’s Q & A is a much easier and faster way to find the answer.
The user simply asks Q & A a question using natural language. The system takes the question to a database and, if the question has been asked and answered before, it retrieves the answer. Q & A is able to find a match even between paraphrases by using natural language processing techniques. Q & A also provides access to human experts in several fields. If it does not have an answer, Q & A will forward the question to one of these experts. The expert will then send the answer and assign the question and answer to a category, so the information is saved and available for future users. Q & A finds the answers and experts completely on its own, and presents the found information in an easily readable way. Q & A also anticipates additional information which might be useful; for example, a question about where to eat would link to a restaurant finding program, or if the question is about directions, Q & A will retrieve a map. A version of Q & A was made available for the 1996 Democratic National Convention.