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Knowledge Management

Perspectives on Machine Learning + Knowledge Management

Northern Light CEO C. David Seuss shared the virtual podium at two information industry webinars recently, offering his perspectives on how knowledge management (KM) platforms and machine learning can be applied most effectively to market research and competitive intelligence within the enterprise.

At a roundtable webinar organized by KM World magazine, entitled “Cognitive Computing, AI, and Next Gen KM”, Seuss explained that the hardest question business researchers typically want answered is, “What should I know about my topic of inquiry?”

“A conventional search engine can’t answer that,” Seuss said, “but a machine learning-enabled KM system that is fine-tuned for market and competitive intelligence research can help researchers discover what is truly important about a topic, versus merely relevant.”  Such a system must aggregate premium content from third-party industry research firms along with an organization’s internal primary research and credible business news sources, Seuss explained, and be able to index and analyze every sentence of every document.  Seuss described how Northern Light’s AI-powered solution automatically summarizes the important insights from the market intelligence documents on the search results for each user on every search query.

At the second webinar about intelligence platforms, this one organized by information consultancy Jinfo, Seuss again was a featured speaker. He noted that machine learning plays a vital role in addressing three long-standing frustrations of business researchers:

  • Why do we have to figure out the search terms for a query – why can’t the machine figure out what the correct search terms are for me?
  • Why do I have to review a search result – why can’t the machine just read the relevant documents and tell me what it finds?
  • Why do we have to search at all – why can’t the machine monitor the content flow for me and tell me when there is something I should pay attention to?

“Users are overwhelmed and tired of getting too many hits on search results, and would love to dispense with search altogether,” Seuss explained.  “What people really want is a personal search assistant.  Machine learning can change the entire business search paradigm.”

Seuss explained that Northern Light’s AI-powered solution creates a personal search assistant for each user in the form of a recommended reading list that proactively recommends new content to users after it learns their interests by quietly watching their behavior when performing business research tasks.

One of the reasons such a shift is necessary, Seuss said, is that Millennials will soon represent a majority of the workforce, and they have different work styles and information consumption preferences from their older colleagues, which machine learning-enabled KM systems are well suited to support.  Millennials evaluate the quality of information as inversely proportional to the time it takes them to find it.  They want the machine to do the work for them.  “Now it can,” Seuss said.

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