Posts Tagged ‘nara’

The Future of Personalization

[Editor's Note: This guest article comes to us from Dr. Nathan Wilson, CTO of Nara. ]

Photo of Thomas Jefferson statue and modern person with smart device The Problem: Information has run amok.

There once was a time when the busiest and greatest minds –the Jeffersons, Hemingways and Darwins – would have time in their day for long walks, communion with nature, and leisurely handwritten correspondence. Today we awaken each day to an immediate cacophony of emails, tweets, websites and apps that are too numerous to navigate with full consciousness. Swimming in wires, pixels, data bits, and windows with endless tabs is toxic to you and to me, and the problem continues to escalate.

How do you connect to this teeming network without electrocuting your brain? “Filtering” is a simple, but ultimately blinding, approach that shields us from important swaths of knowledge. “Forgetting faster” is potentially a valid solution, but also underserves our mindfulness.

A History of Attempted Solutions So Far: How have we tried to solve information glut so far, and why is each solution inadequate?

Phase 1 – The Web as a Linnaean Taxonomy (1994-2000)

The first method to deal with our information explosion came in “Web 1.0” when portals like Yahoo! arose to elegantly categorize information that you could explore at your leisure. For instance, one could find information on the New England Patriots by following a trail of breadcrumbs from “Sports” to “Football” to “AFC East” and finally “New England Patriots” where you were presented with a list of topical websites.

Read more

Vacation Time: More Summer Fun With Semantic Tech

volcpixEarlier this week we took a look at how semantic technology can play into your summer outdoor living plans. Today, we’ll spend a little time looking into how semtech-based solutions could factor into your summer vacation plans.

Perhaps the latest advancement on that front was the work we reported on last week from Sabre, which launched a new developer portal to with APIs based around semantic algorithms that should lead to more personalized travel search services. But while we’re waiting for developers to glom on, there are some other fun ways to explore your holiday options, some of which you might not immediately think of as particularly germaine to the task.

Take, for example, semantic web site creation platform Silk. There are a universe of Silks that have been built that might whet your appetite for a more radical vacation than perhaps you were originally thinking of – or at least better prepare you for an adventure vacation you have in mind. There’s The Volcanoes Catalogue, for instance, with collections of information on all 1,551 known volcanoes. Using data from the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it plots the 50 highest volcanoes; categorizes them by type; and clues you into which are the most active; which have the highest volcano explosivity index (VEI), which rates eruptions based on the volume of product exploded and the cloud height; and which have caused the most casualties, among other features – all information that might be useful in matching your tolerance for risk and danger against your desire to experience steaming craters, hot lava and active eruptions up close.

Read more

Nara Delivers Neural Networking For All

rsz_naramalayNara is officially on its way from being solely a consumer-lifestyle brand – with its neural networking technology helping users find dining and hotel experiences that match their tastes – to also being the power behind other companies’ recommendation and curation offerings. This summer it made a deal with Singapore Communications’ Singtel Digital Life Division to use its technology to help their users hone in on personalized eating options, and today that online food and dining guide, HungryGoWhereMalysia, goes live.

But Singtel won’t be the only outside party to plug into Nara’s backbone, as the company today also is announcing that it is licensing its capabilities to other parties interested in leveraging them. “An enterprise can plug into our neural network in the cloud through our API,” says CEO Tom Copeman, accessing its smarts for analyzing and then personalizing tons of data from anywhere on the web, tailored to the type of service they’d like to offer.

HungryGoWhereMalaysia, for example, is much like Nara for personalized restaurant discovery here in the states, except culturally branded to their markets; local consumers will get tailored list of dining recommendations from over 35,000 restaurants throughout the country, and as the service gets to know them better, suggestions will be more finely honed to match their Digital DNA profiles. “We believe we’re the first in computer science to receive third-party data from outside sources through our API into our neural network, to make the calculations and comparisons, and send back down a more organized, personalized and targeted selections based on individual preferences.”

Read more

Nara Applies Its Neural Networking Tech To Personalize Hotel Recommendations

Nara, the service that to date has leveraged its neural networking technology to automate, personalize and curate web dining experiences for users, is making good on its previously-stated intentions to help users find and take action across various consumer lifestyle categories. (See our original story on the company here.)

The company today is adding personalized hotel recommendations to its portfolio. Consumers now will be able to find hotels conforming to their’ “Digital DNA” – the sum of what its technology learns of what they do and don’t like – in 50 high-volume cities in the U.S. and Canada. It’s entered into a non-exclusive partnership with Expedia to take care of booking on the back-end and TripAdvisor for its reviews, with both capabilities available to users without their having to leave the Nara site. The company expects to add additional locations in North America in the future, as it did for its restaurant recommendations.

Read more

Telco Giant Takes Another Semantic Step

Starting today, if you’re a customer of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. in Malaysia, you’re going to be able to expand your notions of a more personalized web experience.

The company’s SingTel Digital Life Division has partnered with Nara to integrate its proprietary cloud-based neural network technology into its products. Nara today is best known for providing personalized restaurant recommendations: Its “digital DNA” algorithm adds up the sum of what it learns of what each person likes and doesn’t like regarding dining venues in order to serve up restaurant choices (see our story here).

Personalized experiences for SingTel customers will start at the restaurant level, too, with the Malaysia rollout followed by the debut of these services in Australia and Singapore. Nara always has said that its technology can expand beyond the restaurant domain, however, and a spokesperson for the company says such plans are still in the works, though she can’t provide a more definitive timeline.

The deal is not the first semantic matchup for SingTel, south-east Asia’s largest telecom operator.

Read more

Next Steps For Semantic Services About Where To Eat And What You’re Eating

What’s on the menu for semantic technology this week? Two vendors in the foodie field are offering up some new treats.

From Nara, whose neural networking technology is behind a service to help users better personalize and curate their restaurant dining experiences (see how in our story here), comes a new feature that should make picking a restaurant for a group dinner an easier affair. It combines users’ “digital DNA” – the sum of what it learns of what each one likes and doesn’t like regarding dining venues – to serve up restaurant choices that should appeal to the entire group across its range of preferences.

“It’s a really fun way to start getting [the service] into social,” says Nara founder and CEO Tom Copeman.

Read more

Nara Neural Networking Dining Personalization Service Goes Mobile, Adds Cities, And Targets New Categories With Partners

Early in the summer, The Semantic Web Blog introduced readers to Nara, an advanced neural networking service to automate, personalize and curate web dining experiences for users. (See that story here.)

The service is moving ahead with the launch today of its mobile version, as well as in other respects. “We’re now doing a full-on consumer launch of a polished product on both the web and mobile [platforms],” says CTO Nathan Wilson. “People really are clamoring for the mobile component, especially for this [dining] use case.” Versions for both the iPhone’s iOS and Android operating systems are available.

Read more

Where To Eat? Let Neural Network Computing Help You Decide

Dollars to donuts most folks haven’t ever found a place to eat courtesy of neural networking technology before. Generally, Internet searches for spots to have a bite come courtesy of friends’ Facebook recommendations, services like Yelp, and even some semantically-powered offerings such as BooRah, now an Intuit company.

But the collection of neuroscientists, computer scientists, astrophysicists, and creative artists behind Nara, launching into public beta today, have taken the advanced neural networking route to automate, personalize and curate web dining experiences for users – though there’s more to come on the future menu. President and CEO Tom Copeman says of the company, which in April secured $3.6 million of a $4.5 million equity offering, that its cutting-edge neural network and proprietary and patented algorithms and process for analyzing tons of web data, and personalizing it, including considering user feedback on the suggestions it offers, is creating a whole new category.

That is the pure-play digital lifestyle brand that “creates an emotional connection between us and the Web. We’re trying to change how people think about the web, and from sense of what it means to me, and makes sense to me, and how personal it is to me.”

Read more