Algorithmia was on-hand at the second-annual DubHacks hackathon last month, the largest collegiate hackathon in the Pacific Northwest. Over 600 student developers and designers flocked to the University of Washington in Seattle campus to form teams, build projects, and create solutions to real-world problems.
The winner of the Best Use of the Algorithmia Platform was BSO’Meter, an iOS app by Rosie Zou, Jules Mazur, Daniel Tran, Kim Lister, Shaheen Sharifian that used Algorithmia to analyze statements made by politicians for factual correctness. We spoke with Rosie Zou about how their hack came together, inspiration, and what they’re planning to do next.
What was your team’s goal heading into DubHacks?
“Our main goal was really to just make something cool, learn, and have fun. Winning would be great, but to us it was completely optional. We came up with BSO’Meter because of the elections going on both in the U.S. and in Canada, and wanted to make an app that tells the user how much of a political statement is completely BS.
“At that time, we didn’t really plan out which specific frameworks or APIs we were going to use, but we did a lot of research on the necessary work for both frontend and backend, and we knew that we would, at the very least, require some sort of ‘smart’ text analysis.”
How did you utilize Algorithmia in BSO’Meter?
“Having worked with many APIs and libraries before, our biggest concern for the backend is that the API might be hard to integrate, or that the API and the app would require different versions of a language. These didn’t prove to be a problem at all when we used Algorithmia.
“The Python Client was very easy to install, and it was my first time calling an API using only five lines of code. We also loved how the output file was a Python string instead of the usual JSON files – no parsing, yay! Shoutouts to the simplicity and conciseness of Algorithmia’s APIs!”
What algorithms did your team use?
“We used four algorithms: Extract Text, Summarizer, Sentence Detection, and Sentiment Analysis. We wired our frontend and backend together with a web server. The user inputs a URL, we then use Algorithmia’s APIs on the backend to extract the text from the webpage, summarize the text, break down the summary into sentences, and assign each sentence with a sentiment score of 0 to 4 – 0 being very negative and 4 being very positive.
“We then take the average sentiment score of all sentences and use that value along with a Bayesian classification model that we developed, in order to analyze the text more accurately.
“We built the frontend in Xcode, using Swift 2.0, the backend programming was done in Python, and incorporated Algorithmia’s APIs. Our server was built on Tornado.”
What’s next for BSO’Meter?
“BSO’Meter is still largely a work in progress. We were very excited to have come up with a working demo during the hackathon, and we decided to continue the project afterwards. A lot of the features that we want to add to BSO’Meter would be made much easier by using Algorithmia’s APIs, including OCR, speech-to-text, and improvements on our Bayesian classification model.”
Learn More about BSO’Meter:
We’re honored to be included on this year’s GeekWire Seattle 10. This prestigious list showcases the 10 most promising startups in the Seattle area with world-changing business ideas.
Algorithmia was selected by a panel of judges, which included Geoff Entress (Pioneer Square Labs), Rebecca Lovell (City of Seattle), Julie Sandler (Madrona Venture Group), Mukund Mohan (Microsoft Ventures), and Leonard Garfield (MOHAI).
Quick take: It doesn’t get much geekier than this. Diego Oppenheimer and his team of computer scientists are creating a marketplace for algorithms.
The idea? Spark more algorithms by making them easier for developers to find and use.
“Our goal since day one is to unlock the algorithmic knowledge of the world and make it accessible to anyone, anywhere,” said Oppenheimer, a former Microsoft program manager who met his co-founder, Kenny Daniel, when they were students at Carnegie Mellon.
Algorithmia enables developers to create tomorrow’s smart applications today. This first-of-its-kind marketplace for algorithms unlocks the building blocks of human intelligence, providing access to world class scientific research and artificial intelligence in five lines of code or less.
Developers can now easily recognize patterns in data, extract visual knowledge, understand audio, classify unstructured data, derive meaning from language, and so much more. Algorithmia is the largest marketplace for algorithms in the world, with more than 14,000 developers leveraging 1,600+ algorithms.
“Data is inherently dumb,” Peter Sondergaard said, senior vice president at Gartner Research. “Data alone is not going to be the catalyst for the next wave of IT-driven innovation. The next digital gold rush will be focused on how you do something with data, not just what you do with it. This is the promise of the algorithm economy.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Join Algorithmia on Monday, November 9th at 4pm for a discussion on the power of algorithms at Startup Hall, and how you can build next generation apps using machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and more. We’ll discuss how algorithms can power intelligent platforms, and create personal, context-aware interactions you can use to turn dumb data into smart applications. RSVP Here.
- Price: Free
- When: Monday, November 9, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
- Where: Startup Hall – 1100 Northeast Campus Parkway, #200
Algorithmia is the largest marketplace for algorithms in the world, enabling developers to rapidly build and deploy production-ready, serverless applications in minutes. With Algorithmia you have access to world class algorithms in five lines of code or less. Leverage algorithms to recognize patterns in data, extract visual knowledge, understand audio, classify unstructured data, and derive meaning from language, all via a REST API.
Recommendation engines are all over the web – you’ll recognize them under the headings such as “More articles like this,” Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” or even the side bar of related videos on YouTube. Recommender systems help users discover content on your site that they might not have found otherwise and provide a powerful alternative to a search function.
Now you can bring recommendations to your site by harnessing Algorithmia Recommends, a content recommendation tool to suggest more of your own content and increase user engagement. Best of all? Anyone can do it with just three lines of code!
How Simple Is It?
Just plop these three lines of code into your website’s markup, insert your API key, and Algorithmia takes care of the rest.
Give it a try by pasting the code into your markup and replacing the API key, which you can get by signing up here. The first time the recommender is called it will take a few minutes as it crawls your site, and runs the algorithms. After that one-time process recommendations will be nearly instant.
Using WordPress or Drupal?
How The Recommender Works
Algorithmia Recommends uses the Breadth First Site Map web crawler algorithm and powerful natural language processing algorithms Keywords For Document Set and Keyword Set Similarity to find and categorize all the pages on your website in order to help your users find content that’s most relevant to their interests. Implementing a recommender on your site can increase engagement by helping users browse through content that already exists and encouraging them to stay longer on your site.
In addition to being able to specify a freshness constraint so that your users see recently published content, you can even filter out pages that are irrelevant, such as the homepage, about pages, or terms of service. The generated HTML and included CSS are customizable to fit in with your current design.
Try it today with just a few minutes of set up and head on over to the Algorithmia Recommends page to learn more about this powerful, easy-to-use tool!