Shaping the web search of the future: Weimar computer scientists participate in major »OpenWebSearch.EU« project
The Webis group involving Prof. Dr. Benno Stein (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar), Prof. Dr. Martin Potthast (Leipzig University) and Prof. Matthias Hagen (University of Halle) will cooperate with eleven other leading European research centres to develop an open web search infrastructure for Europe as part of the »OpenWebSearch.EU« project. The project aims to contribute to Europe’s digital sovereignty and to foster an open, human-centred search engine market. It is being funded with €8.5 million through »Horizon Europe«, which is the European Commission’s key funding programme for research and innovation.
A great imbalance currently prevails in the search engine market: it is dominated by a handful of providers such as Google, Microsoft, Baidu and Yandex, who influence access to information as a consequence. This bias is a threat to democracy and limits the innovative potential of the European research landscape as well as the European economy. To address this issue, more than 75 researchers will now spend the next three years building the core for a European open web index (OWI) to serve as the basis for a new web search engine in Europe.
The term OWI refers to a whole range of concepts and projects that seek to make the contents of the World Wide Web available to the general public, rather than just being findable via the infrastructures of the global search engine corporations. The »OpenWebSearch.EU« project thus aims to provide the basis for an open and extensible European infrastructure for web searches and analyses based on European values, principles, legislation and standards. »Our project will make an important contribution to the democratization of index creation for future search engines,« explains Prof. Dr. Benno Stein, who leads the working group for web technology and information systems within the Faculty of Media at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
Specifically, the Webis group is working on the development of intelligent search and indexing technologies. In addition to algorithmic contributions, the researchers at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar afford special expertise in the use of cluster computing for the analysis of web archives on a petabyte scale. Overall, Webis contributes a core technological component to the future European search infrastructure.
About the Webis Group:
The Webis Group (www.webis.de) addresses important challenges of the information society. It conducts basic research, develops technologies, and implements and evaluates prototypes for future information systems. The focus is on web mining and retrieval, machine learning, computational linguistics and symbolic artificial intelligence.
In case of questions, please contact Juliane Seeber, who is the Public Relations and Marketing Officer of the Faculty of Media (email@example.com; +49 (0) 36 43 / 58 37 06).