Many semantic start-ups hoping to bring their platforms and APIs to wider public notice among the development community do so by crafting the first applications to leverage their technologies themselves. That’s the case with Kudos Knowledge, which has created Enliten, a personal newspaper using its Semantic Social Intelligence (SSI) technology to deliver news and information from hundreds of sources filtered according to user interests.
“The important thing for us was to show we had capacity,” explains Lee Sinclair, product director of the Australian-based company, which also has developed CelebTweety Social to connect users to information about their favorite celebrities, and Chat Search for Skype for mining conversation histories on that platform, based on its SSI technology. The basic concept behind Semantic Social Intelligence is something that the company internally calls the “.Me” to filter the world for the individual user.
“There is a capacity limit to how much information we can handle as humans. The previous generation couldn’t handle the amount of information we handle today, but even so we are reaching our limits as humans,” Sinclair says. The .ME vision is to reach a point where information can be filtered and presented to the user when the user is ready to receive it – in a portable fashion such that the technology comes into play across all aspects of a user’s typical day, whether they are surfing the web, in an email app or creating a document. For example, for a user working in a word processor, popping up documents related to a word or phrase he is typing in could bring him to the information he needs to help expedite his task. “That is what .ME is — it’s there to serve you,” he says.
Products like Enliten are the first step in the roadmap of what Kudos itself hopes to do with its SSI engine, in terms of creating offerings that learn about users’ interests or needs and can assist them in their everyday life. “The algorithms for analysis of content at the mathematical level are pretty well known, so we haven’t built that, but how we use it I would say is pretty unique,” says Sinclair.
When it comes to attracting developer interest, “it’s been very important for us that the platform be easy to use [for them] to create their own applications and personalized systems,” Sinclair says. “So we’ve designed that in from the very beginning.” Among some of the concepts it suggests to the developer community to serve both corporate markets and social media interests are brand analysis and comparison, document management, legal document search, and music, product or book discovery services.
Kudos also sees that its technology could service the flip side of the .ME concept – that is, in addition to suggesting new content personalized to users’ interests or to helping them complete tasks, it could also be applied to helping them find an audience for their own content. Sinclair says that Enliten, for example, can be used from the perspective of a blogger who wants to find people interested in the type of content she delivers. Or, SSI could be used by sales teams – as one potential customer is exploring – to deliver to possible customers information that is relevant to them leading up to the point of making a decision.
“The thing about new technologies is you have to bring the market up to a level where they understand it,” Sinclair says. “And that can be a hard road.” But that doesn’t make the journey any less exciting.