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5/21/2012
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Machines Will Read The News For You, So You Don't Have To

Using machine intelligence, Wavii is a startup that might help you read less. But not in the traditional sense. Since Wavii launched, it has found that employees are already using it to help them keep up with the news flow. Byte interviewed Wavii founder Adrian Aoun to find out why he thinks machines will help sort through the information overload on the Internet and why he was inspired by Facebook's design.

Do you ever feel inundated with crappy content when you're trying to stay on top of the news? If you do, Wavii may bring relief. Wavii is an app that pieces together news in a bite-sized way. It distills the information, so that you can see the facts up-front and can decide if you want to read the entire article.

Wavii co-founder Adrian Aoun was inspired by his Facebook wall.

Google alerts just weren't cutting it for Aoun. Facebook gave users a way to sift through data on all hundred to thousands of their friends. Similarly with Wavii, you got all these interests, people, products, and companies and it allows you to stay up to date more efficiently, with one clean feed.

Aoun created Wavii, which uses machine learning algorithms to sort through content on the Internet. Wavii is available on the Web and in the Apple app store for iOS.

After logging onto Wavii, you can see news stories such as this:

"Power users love Google alerts. You can't put a lot of names and get something useful. Google alerts can't differentiate if it is a puff piece or something that just happened. With Wavii, we are keeping up to date on your interests. We kind of consolidated all of this information into short visual updates," Aoun said.

Most of the things on the Internet in our Twitter and Facebook streams focus on what is popular like the top 10 top 20 stories of the day. However, what about people who are in more niche industries?

What they care about is not what everyone is talking about, Aoun said. On Wavii, you can follow whatever you want. Follow Apple or a little farming company.

"When you follow those, we kind of democratize them. They both come into your feed, " Aoun said. "We heard from users, 'wow I found something that I wouldn't have otherwise found.'"

Aoun said a lot of his users are using it at work to keep track of companies and topics relevant to their job.

"We are putting it in a way so we can have access to it. We've been so complacent that we think search engines are the end all be all."

After mining millions of sources, Wavii offers an instant news feed for any topic.

Aoun thinks people aren't thinking enough how to unlock all the information we've created, but that's ripe for disruption.

"You can only understand one thing at a time. Algorithms can understand them and aggregate them and distill them for you. I think it's life changing. A lot of companies will be working on technologies to understand what's on the Internet," Aoun said.

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