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The future of search only cost $30 million | MediaFile | Analysis & Opinion |

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Imagine a world where something like Siri interpreted your command, Summly ran across the Internet collecting information, came back in fractions of a second and gave you a perfect reply? No more hits based on a single word in the comments. Content farms could more easily be weeded out. SEO as we know it might be rendered obsolete.

That premise is brilliant EXCEPT for the fact that Yahoo only hired 2 people from Summly.

Am we to believe that the 2 Summly people have some secret sauce for summarizing any information on the Internet?

If general-purpose summarization were tractable, Google would have 1000 people working on it right now.

I'm yet to figure out how do they summarize the news...

They do it by licensing technology from SRI:

While we started with a relatively simple extraction algorithm for general news, we have now launched a bold and ambitious effort to take summarisation technology far beyond its present state. Our in-house research makes innovative use of machine learning and natural language processing, using evaluation metrics that show our technology to be highly effective.

Summly's internal team partnered closely with SRI in building our app.

Innovations from SRI International have created new industries, billions of dollars of marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society—touching our lives every day. SRI, a nonprofit research and development institute based in Silicon Valley, brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, new products, and spin-off ventures. Government and business clients come to SRI for pioneering R&D and solutions in computing and communications, chemistry and materials, education, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, national defense, robotics, sensing, and more. Visit for more information.

"Summly came to SRI International with a core concept to solve the information overload problem, which is especially challenging for mobile devices because of their limited screen size," said David Israel, Ph.D., program director in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International. "Building on SRI's expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, the Summly team is creating a new type of content, providing understandable and relevant summaries tailored for mobile devices."


So if you want to know how Summly did it, go talk to the people at SRI who are working on it.

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