Huffington Post Buys Adaptive Semantics To Keep Up With 100,000 Comments A Day

The Huffington Post has acquired its first company in a small cash deal, and it is not another blog or media site, but a pure technology startup called Adaptive Semantics. The two-person startup provides a semantic analysis engine (aka JuLiA) already used by the Huffington Post to help moderate the 100,000 comments published on the blog every day. Prior to the acquisition, the Huffington Post was already Adaptive Semantic’s largest and only outside investor, buying a 20 percent stake in April, 2009. JuLiA uses “supervised machine learning,” according to co-founder Jeff Revesz, to flag inappropriate comments, spam, and abusive language. Humans manually tag a few hundred comments, which then get fed into the semantic analysis engine and applied across every comment. This is an ongoing process so that the system continually gets better and better. Not only can it detect abusive language or hate speech, but it can also help find commenters who may be topic experts. Beyond comment moderation and making sure readers behave themselves on the site, the underlying semantic analysis technology can help bubble up the best contributions from readers. JuLiA could help to feature the best comments or to award specific badges. It also could be applied to article recommendations


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