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University project leader defends Huawei tech collaboration


Questions raised in Dutch parliament over push to build search engine smarter than Google

A team leader at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has defended plans to work with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei to build a search engine intended to be smarter than Google.

Frank van Harmelen, principal investigator on the project, said the contract, which has come under fire in parliament, was similar to dozens of other collaboration contracts between European universities and big companies such as ING bank and the publisher Elsevier. The search engine will be capable of semantic search, which means it will understand the meaning of search terms and guess at what the user wants to see, or ask the user for more information if it cannot.

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