Language developer NQL Solutions has produced a search system which "thinks like a human".
The California-based firm is building a "fuzzy logic" capability into its Network Query Language which is used for the creation of search systems, or "intelligent agents".
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Currently network managers can use intelligent agents to trawl their company's entire IT systems for information. The agent cuts across different platforms and, once the data has been brought back, the agent can reformat it for use in any platform.
The fuzzy logic introduces an element of flexibility into the search method.
For example if a supermarket chain wants to identify the number of extra available staff who work nights within a 10-mile radius, the engine will bring back those staff who live within 12 miles if they fit the other criteria and not enough staff can be found who meet the original criteria.
A spokeswoman for NQL said that firms had the potential to cut costs by using the software. "At the moment they're employing a lot of people to search for and collate data. This system, because it thinks more like a human, could do a lot of that work."