Huffington Post Acquires Adaptive Semantics
Of interest to HuffPost is Adaptive Semantics' machine learning and sentiment analysis technology, which the publisher is hoping will help scale its community.
"Acquiring Adaptive Semantics helps us in what's become an 'arms race' between algorithms and commenters looking to circumvent the more common tech-based comment solutions," Eric Hippeau, CEO of The Huffington Post, said Thursday.
Meanwhile, Adaptive's "use of algorithms and machine learning will also pay dividends beyond efficient comment moderation, as the site continues to develop ways in which tech can be leveraged to engage our community -- from commenters to citizen journalists," Hippeau added.
The acquisition is just the latest example of publishers exploring technologies to either replace -- or at least support -- the work of editors.
AOL raised eyebrows back in November when it announced plans to begin partly automating its online news reporting process. Under the auspices of Seed.com, AOL is now employing an algorithmic system that trawls the Web for stories that readers are likely to prefer, and then parses out story assignments among a large freelance staff.
HuffPost credits the use of Adaptive Semantics' software with fueling the growth of its community. In May, the site posted a record 2.8 million comments.
Adaptive's co-founders Elena Haliczer and Jeff Revesz will be joining HuffPost as Project Lead on Social News Technology, and Director of Social News Technology, respectively.
Adaptive Semantics uses linguistic algorithms and text data analysis -- which claims to become more sophisticated over time -- to moderate comment threats. It's able to do this by "recognizing" offensive language and patterns of behavior used to evade comment moderation.
The system is able to process millions of comments each month, while also identifying top commenters and subject matter experts.