Wikipedia’s parent company, Wikimedia Foundation, has revealed details of its Knowledge Engine grant and confirmed that it is working on an open-source search engine. It was given a grant of $250,000 by the Knight Foundation and is apparently the first stage of a project costed at $2.5 million. The first stage of the Knowledge Engine, which is described as “a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy information on the internet.”
As per the Knowledge Engine grant agreement, the search engine will have four stages, namely discovery, advisory, community, and extension with each stage lasting approximately 18 months. The discovery stage will include an exploration of prototypes of future versions of Wikipedia.org that are “open channels” rather than an encyclopaedia and will take about 12 months. As per the agreement, the biggest risk is that other companies like Google or Yahoo! “could suddenly devote resources to a similar project.” The grant agreement also says that the Knowledge Engine would “democratise the discovery of media, news and information.” It adds that it will create an open data engine that is free from any commercial interests.