Making the Automatically Customized Newspaper a Reality

11 04 2007

“I think many of us grew up with the dream of waking up in the morning and having your computer screen display a newspaper fully customized to your tastes and interests,” said Michael O’Connor, president of Leptonic Systems Inc. and developer of Myallo Online at http://www.myallo.com.

O’Connor says his site uses a sophisticated learning process to find interesting Web articles for you, without you having to search around for them. Myallo does the searching, literally learning, based on your feedback on articles you’ve seen previously.

Like some popular social networking and RSS aggregator sites, Myallo (a name based on the English pronunciation of a Greek word meaning “brain”) gathers thousands of articles from Web pages, Blogs, and News sites that cover all kinds of topics, in text, image, and video media. But unlike those sites, it purpose isn’t to rank articles based on popularity, or make you tag or submit your own articles. Instead, it predicts your interest in each article, and puts the ones it thinks will be most interesting to you at the top of the page.

At first, it just shows you random articles. Alongside each one, a slider control appears where you can set your level of interest in the article. After it sees how you’ve rated a few articles, it begins to get the hang of what you like, and is able to put more of the interesting stuff up front. Over time, it gets quite good at showing you articles you’ll want to see.

How does it do it? Myallo maintains an interlinked network of thousands of topics, associated according to conceptual relation to each other, forming a sort of “neural network”. Myallo’s server pre-scans each article to see how relevant it is to each of the topics. Then, when you rate an article by setting the interest slider, the system learns by propagating this information back through the interlinked topics, adjusting your levels in each topic with which the article is associated, plus those topics to which those topics are related, and so on. Knowing your interests in each topic, it is able to predict your interest in new articles.

O’Connor says “Myallo Online literally learns what you like, and customizes itself to your tastes with almost no work on your part. There’s no searching, no relying on what others think is popular. It brings us closer to the dream of an automatically customized, real-time updated, multimedia, hyperlinked newspaper. That’s our goal!”

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