Bill Clinton helps launch search engine
NEW YORK - Former president Bill Clinton on Monday helped launch a new Internet search company backed by the Chinese government which says its technology uses artificial intelligence to produce better results than Google Inc.
"I hope you all make lots of money," Clinton told executives at the launch of Accoona Corp., which donated an undisclosed amount to the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The Chinese government, one of several large backers, has granted Accoona a 20-year exclusive partnership with the China Daily Information Co., the government agency that runs an official Chinese and English Web site.
The deal gives Accoona data on some 5 million Chinese companies, which Accoona sees as a lucrative opportunity as U.S. businesses seek to do business in China ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The new company's executives include chairman Eckhard Pfeiffer, the former chief executive of Compaq Corp., and Stuart Kauder, a former business development director at online advertising company DoubleClick Inc.
Accoona takes its name from the Swahili phrase, "accoona matata," for "no worries," popularized by Disney's film, "The Lion King."
The company seeks to distinguish itself from Google, Yahoo and growing list of other search engine players by using artificial intelligence to make the results more relevant, said Pfeiffer. Unlike traditional search engines that seek specific "keyword" matches, Accoona will access Web pages that may have no exact keyword matches but are still relevant to the query, he explained.
"Accoona's artificial intelligence technology will elevate search engine
performance to a new unprecedented level, allowing the most relevant search
available today," Pfeiffer said.