At the Semantic Web Business and Technology Conference in San Francisco in 2011, a company called Pragmatech presented a prototype of its CTRL semantic engine. Now, a little more than a year later, it’s launching products and services, as well as an API, for business and general public use.
The Daily Star, an English language news publication in the Middle East, is one of the early adopters of CTRL for its web site. The semantic technology powers the news site’s surfacing of topically related stories, summaries of an article, and entities extracted from it. Soon, readers also will be able to follow topics related to articles as well.
“Many semantic technologies do entity extraction at a shallow level,” says Dr. Walid Saba, who leads the R&D team at Pragmatech. “We go deeper.” As an example, readers of The Daily Star wanting to explore stories by following a key topic – a particular world figure as a diplomat, rather than in his or her other past role as a businessperson, for instance – will be directed to stories specific to that. Within the first couple of weeks of deployment, the news site more than tripled user engagement, Saba says.