mmapiMindMeld – you may know the term best from StarTrek and those fun-loving Vulcan practices. But it lives too at Expect Labs, as an app that listens to and understands conversations and finds relevant information within them, and as an API that lets developers create apps that leverage contextually-driven search and discovery – and may even find the information users need before they explicitly look for it.

Anticipatory computing is the term Expect Labs uses for that. “This is truly a shift in the way that search occurs,” says director of research Marsal Gavaldà. “Anticipatory computing is the most general term in the sense that we have so much information about what users are doing online that we can create accurate models to predict what a user might need based on long-ranging history of that user profile, but also about the context.”

The more specific set of functionality that contributes to the overarching theme of anticipatory computing, he explains, “means that you can create intelligent assistants that have contextual search capabilities, because our API makes it very easy to provide a very continuous stream of updates about what a user is doing or where a user is.”

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