Siri's little sister Trapit, an intelligent discovery engine that pumps individually curated digital content to users, has closed a $6.2m Series A round of venture funding led by Hong Kong’s Horizon Ventures. Trapit is the progeny of CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes), the DARPA-commissioned artificial- …
I was hoping for a revamp of Ana Nova (cuteish '90s animated newsreader IIRC).
Showing my age
I initially misread that as
"I was hoping for a revamp of Aldo Nova...."
The one with the monkey on the back...
$6.2 million to re-invent StumbleUpon?
I'll assume that I've missed something (as is usually the case).
Trapit versus StumbleUpon
I believe StumbleUpon primarily targets based on a user's reputation network and a user-recommendation network. That is, it finds content that's been recommended by people whose recommendations you claim to trust, and content that's been recommended by people who show a pattern of liking the same things you like. Those have been pretty successful algorithms, historically (they underpin the original Google Page Rank and Amazon.com's recommendation system, respectively), but they're mostly content-neutral; that is, the recommendation system doesn't really care what's actually on the page.
Trapit, on the other hand, apparently inspects content, and applies language-processing and AI algorithms (probably some variety of Markov model at the core, if I had to guess) to evaluate how well that content matches a model it constructs of your preferences. I didn't find much technical information about Trapit in a quick search (the website is embarrassingly vague, an annoying slog through condescending marketing drivel), but since it came out of the CALO project, that'd be my guess.
The real problem with Trapit (and StumbleUpon, etc) is that it just enhances the Internet focusing effect: it helps you screen incoming information to retain the bits that confirm your existing ideas, and remove the bits that might challenge it.
Maybe I am missing something too...if iOS already has Siri, then why not develop Trapit for Android?
Siri versus Trapit
Siri and Trapit are completely different services. They arose out of the same project, under the auspices of SRI, and they're based on similar technology; but they're completely different from the user's point of view.