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Boris Katz is a Principal Research Scientist and Head of the InfoLab Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research interests include natural language understanding and generation, intelligent information access, knowledge representation, human computer interaction, and event recognition.
Boris Katz is the creator of the START information access system and the inventor of a patented method of natural language annotations, which facilitate access to multimedia information in response to questions expressed in everyday language. In 1989 during the Voyager Neptune encounter, START was used in the JPL press room to answer reporters’ questions about the Voyager 2 spacecraft. In 1993, START became the first question-answering system on the Web, and since then answered millions of questions from Web users all over the world.
Boris Katz is a member of the Open Advancement of Question Answering consortium where he contributed several technical ideas incorporated into IBM’s Watson system, which in 2011 defeated the all-time human champions on the quiz show Jeopardy. Technology created in Katz's InfoLab Group in 2006 (see press, technical paper and video) was a major inspiration for the development of Apple's personal assistant, Siri.