Stanford University scientists are perfecting an eMail system that figures out who messages are intended for and finds them whether or not senders know the addresses, AFP reports. Semantic technology that understands phrases and relationships between words, instead of simply recognizing typed characters, can scour databases and the internet to track down intended eMail recipients. Stanford computer science associate professor Michael Genesereth and fellow researchers in Ireland, Austria, and at the university began testing a semantic eMail addressing system several years ago. It worked so well that the experiment will be expanded to the approximately 6,000 people in the Stanford Computer Science Department this year. If that succeeds, as Genesereth is confident it will, the semantic eMail technology will be put to use throughout the acclaimed Silicon Valley university’s campus–and then "who knows. … The idea is to change the way we address eMail," Genesereth said. "You really want to send messages to people, not a string of characters. This way, you describe the person you want to receive the eMail."
For example, if you want to send a message to the head of a department or peers in a work group, you enter that information into your eMail system, which then figures out where to send the messages. "In a sense, your address book does become obsolete," Genesereth said…

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