Luminoso Software Update 8/22/15

Work, work, work…that’s what we do to make our solutions work for you!

Take a look at a few of our most recent updates here, including:

  • Out with the term, “Correlation Scores,” and in with “Association Scores” (Analytics)
  • Association Scores are presented as numbers rather than as percentages (Analytics)
  • We’ve resized the Concept Cloud spacing to increase readability and support multiple character sets (Analytics)
  • Topic association charts in XLSX are now arranged from high to low (Analytics)

If you ever have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

How I Stopped Being Afraid of AI

Using mechanical devices such as the wheel, the lever, the sail, the steam engine to reduce the burden of human labour is not a new idea. And, in most cases, these devices helped societies to vastly improve their quality of life and increase opportunities for its citizenry. However, using intelligent, independently thinking machines to help, enhance or substitute human labor and more importantly human thought, is a new phenomenon. The 2014 short documentary film by C.G.P. Grey called Humans Need Not Apply thoughtfully discusses this impact of automation on humans and paints a rather bleak future of workThere is an inherent unease about the kind of tasks intelligent machines are now performing while replacing human workers. This view is also shared by some rather influential figures in technology and science such as Ray Kurzweil and Elon Musk.

But, then, a glass half-empty glass is also half-full.

There is a different, more optimistic perspective on Artificial Intelligence – that there are vast, untapped, positive impact it can have on humans and on the nature of work. That AI is another tool, albeit more powerful and more impactful tool, but a tool nevertheless whose power is waiting to be harnessed by businesses. In fact, at Luminoso, we leverage AI to perform significant amount of tasks that help create a better product and a more robust product.

There are also other perspectives on AI. Geoff Colvin of Fortune, recently argued in his book, Humans are underrated, that people fearful that their jobs are at risk may be asking the wrong question as to what kind of work a computer will never be able to do.

Instead, Mr. Colvin proposes that we ask what are the activities that we humans, driven by our deepest nature or by the realities of daily life, will simply insist be performed by other humans, even if computers could do them?

We think the subject of AI and its application areas are so exciting that we have even proposed a panel at the upcoming 2016 SXSW Interactive titled – How I Stopped Being Afraid of AI. We think this will bring a fresh perspective to this raging debate. Please click here to know more and vote for us.

We are more likely to fear what we do not understand.  Get to know AI and what it can do for your business.

Computational Linguistics and the Wild West

And now, a word from Dmitry Grenader, Luminoso’s Director of Product Management…

So I was watching For a Fistful of Dollars last night and thought about all the awesome things that make the heroes of Westerns so cool fun to watch.


And then I applied it to how we distill the Voice of the Customer here at Luminoso, and I was amazed to discover that we are a lot like good ole’ Clint (or at least the guys he portrays).

No rules – Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean we are above the law.  But we did leave 1980’s style of rules and ontology creation behind – because those only allow you to find what you are looking for. Instead, we have embraced the vector-based models that deal with the world of customer feedback as it is, warts and all.

Street-smart – When you ride into a new town and the silence is eerie, and the saloon is very quiet and people are barely drinking – well clearly something is up.  For us, to go with the vector-based approach, we have ConceptNet (of the MIT Media Lab fame) which models the world, and provides context.  The sun is hot.  Cats meow, they like milk, they dislike dogs, they are mammals. The context is everything and is what allows our software to get at concepts, and understand meaning. (btw – our software is street-smart, but we do have a few PhDs around)

Ready for anything – A true hero is ready for anything. Same with us – no matter what channel is thrown at us – email, reviews, social media, survey results – we can handle it. Also whether we need to read 200 or 200,000 documents we can do that without breaking a sweat.

Hard-hitting – What can I say, it is all about the grit. And not pulling any punches. And using live bullets. And … ok ok, you get the picture. We don’t feed you some pseudo-analytics about amorphous “sentiment” – it is only the appearance of knowledge. We provide crisp and actionable insights that distill concepts, relationships and people’s emotional connections to them. Whether the good the bad or the ugly in the voice of your audience, you will be able to get it from Luminoso.

Fast – You have got to draw your gun quickly, and shoot first and true. Insights are only good if they are timely and you can do something about them or with them. Our processing is blazing fast and the analysis and insights are yours in real-time, to support your decision making.

So go ahead, be a hero.

Software Updates 7/31/15

Our development team is always working hard on behalf of our clients to make improvements to our solutions. Check out what they’ve recently been working on here, including:

  • Timelines now include “week” and “quarter” intervals (Analytics & Analytics API)
  • Fix for prediction endpoints issue where a 500 error was sometimes returned (Analytics API)
  • Tokens are no longer returned (Analytics API)

If you ever have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Technically Speaking – Luminoso: Computers Listening, Interpreting Human Language

Luminoso’s CEO and co-founder, Catherine Havasi, was recently featured on an episode of “Technically Speaking,” hosted by Tim Muma.

In this episode, Catherine describes how we work to give computers the ability to not only understand words, but break down concepts and emotions coming from human language. She explains to Tim Muma the value of our technology and the way that our design can benefits our many customers.

Listen to the podcast HERE!!

Luminoso Listens – Webinar on July 23 @ 2:00 p.m. ET

What is the value of a good listener?

Personally, it’s the promise of a valuable relationship. If you are a business with customers, it’s also the promise of a valuable relationship, which in turn generates the promise of a successful business. If you listen to your customers, you’ll know who they are, what they want, and how they want it. You’ll listen when they’re unhappy or displeased so you can make them happy . Just like in any successful relationship, if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you.

What are some other qualities of good listeners?

Good listeners are empathetic – they seek to understand what you have to say and can relate. A good listener needs to have the ability to get into their heads and understand their needs, and see from the eyes of the customer.

Good listeners have emotional intelligence – they can focus on the people who are sharing their voice and perspective. It’s clear that if a customer is willing to share their voice, they want to be heard.

Good listeners are unbiased and unprejudiced – they are only going to act on the information provided. A good listener wouldn’t include their preconceived notions or prescribe subjective solutions based on what they thought their customer was going to say, or even worse, what they wanted the customer to say.

Good listeners get to the heart of the why and the what – they are going to go deeper than shallow sentiment and get to the heart of the matter. Without having the ability to dig deeper, you’ll never truly understand the drivers behind your customers.

How do you listen to your customers?

Luminoso is truly the best listener. Our solutions can take all that your customers – and your employees – are saying into consideration and help your company to determine how to make those relationships better. Luminoso listens to things that your customers and employees are saying that you might not have heard otherwise. We can also recognize how certain issues relate to others and connect the dots.

If you’re interested in learning more, please join us on July 23 at 2:00 p.m. for a 15 minute webinar. Follow the link here to register.

Brand Wars: Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime

We are proud to have launched our second installment of Brand Wars in collaboration with our partners over at iModerate! While the first edition focused on two athletic consumer brands, Nike and Under Armour, this one focuses on brands that provide streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Of the three, which do you think will be the winner?

Check out the report here! You can also see some press that we’ve received about this report in AdWeek, and in USA Today!