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Meltwater Lays Out AI-First Strategy in Alan Turing Institute Talk

Media intelligence and Outside Insight company Meltwater detailed its AI-first strategy in a talk at research centre Alan Turing Institute in London on Monday.

Meltwater senior researcher Giorgio Orsi explained how the company is increasingly relying on data science to complement its media intelligence unit.

Meltwater helps companies understand how their brand is faring online and how their competitors position themselves— by scouring through online news articles and social media post. The company also provides a breakdown of each industry’s key trends, and brands’ sentiment analysis— that is: what sort of emotions a company is associated with online.

Orsi highlighted how emerging phenomena such as the spread of misleading information on social networks and websites posturing as media outlets are making it increasingly risky to resort to traditional sources of information before making key decisions.

“We need more factual knowledge, today,” he said. “If you rely on news and social media only you can run into huge challenges—like ‘fake news’.”

To solve that— and in line with Meltwater’s Outside Insight approach—  information harvested from editorial channels should be integrated with data gathered from more diverse sources such as job postings, patent filings, government datasets and company websites.

Data science and AI need to be deployed  both to scrape that information— which is often present online in an unstructured fashion— and to make sense of it.

Meltwater has been doing it and, Orsi explained, it is now making its data and technology available to third parties too, through a platform called combines Meltwater’s “data lakes” (huge reams of data Meltwater has scraped over the years, accumulating about  200 billion documents to date) with machine learning technology , in order to make the most of it — for instance  discovering relations through convolutional neural networks, or inferring new facts using cognitive applications.

“If  you look for these new inferences through AI, and then  integrate them with traditional media intelligence, you can discover a lot of things.” Orsi said.

“For instance, if you go through job postings and you notice that Netflix stopped hiring engineers and started hiring scriptwriters, that indicates a shift. Or, if you use cognitive applications to asses your industry, you can find out who your main competitors are, even when that’s not obvious.”

Orsi added that the platform can also run third-party applications and integrate external datasets.



(Meltwater fully funds the Shack15 co-working space in London, and this news blog.)

Image via Meltwater




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