True Knowledge, the Cambridge, UK-based natural language search company, has set out to find the most boring day of the 20th century. Or, technically speaking, the most “uneventful” day, since the term boring is far too subjective for even the most sophisticated computer program to understand.
That day, apparently, is April 11th 1954.
Based on its database of 300 million facts (consisting of objects, classes, attributes and relations) garnered from existing structured data and user contributions, Octopus Ventures-backed True Knowledge was able to conclude that on this particular Sunday in the 1950s nobody significant died and no major events occurred. Furthermore, “although a typical day in the 20th century has many notable people being born, for some reason that day had only one who might make that claim: Abdullah Atalar – a Turkish academic”, says True Knowledge founder William Tunstall-Pedoe.
“The irony is though, that having done the calculation, the day is interesting for being exceptionally boring, unless that is you are Abdullah Atalar!”
That’s one way of looking at it, I suppose.
True Knowledge was able to come to this conclusion because many entries in its database of facts include dates. On top of this, the system is able to understand “the importance of the entities in the world which can be calculated as a number, such as events beginning and ending, births, deaths, wars, founding of businesses and the release of publications.”
That’s clever stuff.
However, I’m tempted to ask the natural language search engine to find me the most uneventful press release in modern history or even the last few days.
Although perhaps it’s best I don’t.