August 22, 2012
Beyond Copy and Paste: Intelligent Content EveryWare as the Next Wave of Technological Innovation from Wolters Kluwer
Unlike our other major vendors, Wolters Kluwer's executives and technologists in Europe present business ideas with a minimum of the usual marketing pablum on the Company's Intelligent Solutions Blog. In a recent two-part series of posts, WK's Jack Lynch, a member of the Executive Board of Wolters Kluwer whose responsibilities include global shared services, technology and business development, discusses the "next wave" business model for delivering contextualized and actionable solutions for intelligent data-intensive professional use.
I believe our business is evolving along two dimensions—1) The Computing dimension where we find ourselves today in the Post PC era barreling towards an era of Ubiquitous Computing or, what Adam Greenfield has termed, “EveryWare” and; 2) The Information dimension where today we are just beginning to contextualize information in different customer contexts as we continue to move along the data to information to intelligence continuum.
Angel Sancho Ferrer, Research & Development Director in Content & Online Services, Wolters Kluwer, South Europe follows up on Lynch's theme at Content in Search and Inference Engines.
The integration of content and software is a topic as broad as how to create Artificial Intelligence; and it is very deeply related with the core assets of Wolters Kluwer, with enriched content and algorithms that understand those special structures for research or workflow tools.
Expanding on the concept of "actionable content" presented by Lynch, he discusses the limitations of current search technology compared to rules-based inference engines.
Search technologies, as powerful as they have demonstrated to be, have limits. They:
are reactive, and so depend on the quality of the query;
cannot create information, just select the best documents and fragments (without modifying them, just copy and paste).
Rule systems, on the other side:
Can follow a dialog-based approach to obtain more information from the user, and even from a software system, changing its internal states and strategy.
Can create information that was not there (i.e. a computable document).
The delivery of actionable content by way of inference engines can be viewed as a solution that embeds search and professional-grade editorial content to generate made-to-order templates for work product. Think today's personal income tax preparation software only ratched-up well beyond Form 1040 rules for complex legal matters. This borders on Artificial Intelligence. But to make it work it will require specialist legal expertise with an editorial staff constantly reviewing legal developments to update inference engine rules.
One could argue the case that WK's US legal platforms are not even close to WK's "Next Wave" business development model. But they may be someday. If they do, WK presents a competitive threat to BLaw in several specialist market segments and could "nudge" BLaw and WEXIS to offer specialty-centric "solutions" that are state-of-the-art as defined by WK. [JH]