In an interview with Insights Success, Ruggero Gramatica, the CEO and Founder of Yewno, Inc. shares insights about the rapid success of his company, the shifting information technology landscape, and the future of the Artificial Intelligence industry.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Ruggero and Insights Success:
Kindly describe Yewno and its vision.
At Yewno, our vision is ‘Knowledge Singularity’, which means knowledge at everyone’s fingertips. The explosion of information technology, connectivity, and big data over the past two decades has put information at the tips of our fingers -but information is not the same as knowledge. Yewno empowers users to uncover the data that they are looking for in less time than ever before possible, and to use their findings to draw connections between concepts.
Tell us something about the CEO.
Yewno’s CEO and Founder, Ruggero Gramatica, has over 20 years of experience in startups and turn around with new technology. Bringing academic research to industry applications, he has contributed to the growth and expansion of 5 successful start-ups both in the United States and across Europe, operating in both blue chip and early stage environments.
Ruggero holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from King’s College London, an MBA from University of Chicago, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University Politecnico of Milan.
What are the biggest challenges in the industry?
One of the biggest challenges about being an AI company is the lack of understanding about what ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is. AI is used as a catchall term for a variety of new emerging technologies. Yewno is a groundbreaking cross-disciplinary framework which has applications across a number of vertical markets. So, there’s a challenge in being associated with the negative stereotypes about AI which play upon people’s fear of the unknown.
Kindly brief us about Yewno’s strategies to tackle its competition.
Yewno’s technology is unique and patented. We’re not seeking to wipe out the competition, as we believe it’s an ecosystem with room for multiple players, but we plan to remain the first and foremost in our area of expertise, and we invest heavily in our Data Science team to ensure that this happens.
What inspired Yewno to enter the segment?
Yewno is an outcome of a research activity based on applied artificial intelligence (AI) by our co-founder and CEO Ruggero Gramatica. Whilst researching for his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, he carried out a successful proof of concept working in Finance. He then performed a second large scale proof of concept, again in a domain of complex systems, but this time in Life Sciences at a Swiss Biotech company by repurposing existing drug molecules to cure rare diseases. In Switzerland, Gramatica met Professor Michael Keller, Stanford University’s Vice Provost and University, who invited Ruggero to support his research and prototype an interdisciplinary inference engine at Stanford. This became Yewno’s first product-Yewno Discover.
What can be expected from Yewno in the upcoming years?
Yewno’s value proposition is that our underlying technology and interdisciplinary knowledge graph has the ability to ingest massive amounts of data- some examples include patents, news, scholarly articles, books, market data, and personal documents- and understand concepts imbedded therein. When you go looking for information on a particular concept, or the relationship between two or more concepts, Yewno instantly surfaces relevant content. The result is that you can know more in less time. Because of the versatility of our underlying technology, we have applications for Education, Publishing, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Government and shortly, Legal. We expect that “search” technology will soon become a thing of the past, and that knowledge discovery will take its place. We are leading that charge.
What are your views on today’s industry scenario?
At Yewno, we are one of the companies pioneering how to harness technologies such as computational linguistics, machine learning and neural networks- all of which fall under the broader umbrella of “Artificial Intelligence”- for practical use. Now that the technology has been developed, the industry’s focus now is turning toward applications. The AI industry is evolving from a place of experimentation and creation and is now vetting their products in real use-case scenarios.
Explain Yewno’s journey to date.
Yewno has come incredibly far since our launch in 2015. We are used by universities in more than seven countries globally. Parallel to our success in education, we are becoming widely adopted by publishers who are looking to manage their own content. Some of the biggest names in publishing employ our Discover and Unearth products. In the arena of Financial Services, Yewno has developed key partnerships with NASDAQ, STOXX and FactSet offering market indexes and data feeds. Most recently, we unveiled the Yewno Financial Platform, which leverages Yewno’s proprietary Knowledge Graph to offer a variety of AI-augmented products and solutions for financial services professionals.
About the Company
Founded in 2015, Yewno is helping the world to uncover the undiscovered through its new inference engine, which introduces an entirely new approach to knowledge discovery. Yewno inference engine incorporates machine learning, cognitive science, neural networks, and computational linguistics into an intelligent framework to enhance human understanding by correlating concepts across vast volumes sources. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, and with offices in London and New York, Yewno is backed by leading investors including Pacific Capital and currently has numerous partnerships across the finance sector, top research universities, publishers and content aggregators worldwide. Yewno was recently named Outsell’s 2017 Emerging Company of the Year and was chosen from among 250 major disruptors in the global information industry.
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