The Alchemist Blog

Helping You Build Intelligent Data Applications

Movin' On Up!

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By: AlchemyAPI on April 7, 2016 at 9:59 AM

On September 12, 2008, AlchemyAPI published its very first blog post for a fairly small following of readers. Back then, AlchemyAPI had a total of three employees. Almost eight years later, it’s hard to believe how much has changed. Between 2008 and early 2015, AlchemyAPI released a total of 28 APIs, grew to 18 employees, and despite its slow publishing start, published 144 blogs. And then on March 1, 2015, IBM Watson acquired our Denver-based startup to grow the collection of Language, Vision, Speech and Data APIs available on Watson Developer Cloud. Overnight, AlchemyAPI’s 18 employees joined over 400,000 as we were welcomed with open arms into the IBM family. It’s been a year now, and we are already seeing our technology integrated into lots of ‘Powered by Watson’ applications.

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Topics: AlchemyAPI, Events, New Features, IBM Watson

The Developer Challenge: What Will You Build?

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By: Zach Walchuk on March 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM

There’s a lot you can do with the Watson Developer Cloud APIs. I know many of the uses, but I guarantee you I wouldn’t be able to come close to telling you all the possibilities. To be honest, the best ideas have always come from our community anyway. Startup starters, hackathon hackers, and developing developers have consistently surprised me with their creative thinking and the passion they have for making awesome applications.

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Topics: Events, Application Development

A New Way to Gain Insight from Analyzed Text

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By: Vibha Sinha on March 8, 2016 at 12:39 PM

 Tone check your communication with Watson

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Topics: New Features, NLP

Using Text Analysis to Uncover Business Opportunities

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By: Mackenzie Sedlak on March 4, 2016 at 8:08 AM

"If we do not take advantage of our opportunities, it is our own fault." - Thomas J. Watson

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Topics: Natural Language Processing, Unstructured Data, NLP

Hi, Watson: Building Apps You Can Talk To

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By: Zach Walchuk on February 29, 2016 at 9:56 AM

  • Yo, Watson.
  • Hi, Zach. What’s up?
  • I want to visit Tokyo, Sydney, Manchester, and Reykjavik during a trip that takes 30 days.
  • That’s ambitious.
  • I know, right? Can you help me figure out the best way to do it — which order I should travel through those cities for the cheapest flight itinerary and the least chance of being jet-lagged?
  • Should I also optimize for seasonality, so that you’re moving through each city at its warmest time during those 30 days?
  • That would be awesome, Watson. Oh, one more thing — I also want to make a reservation at Jiro’s sushi place while I’m in Tokyo. So make that the priority above other criteria.
  • I’m on it, Zach.

This imaginary conversation between me and Watson is an example of the type of interaction you could make possible during our new hackathon from IBM, the Watson Developer Challenge for conversational apps.

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Topics: AlchemyAPI, Hackathons, How-To, Events, IBM Watson

Get a Headstart on Your Apps with Application Starter Kits

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By: Zach Walchuk on February 24, 2016 at 9:30 AM

If you want to build an app with Watson, I've got some good news: you don't have to start from scratch. We've got a lot of sample code on our GitHub that can be deployed to Bluemix with the push of a button, including API demos and labs. The latest and greatest we have to offer are our Application Starter Kits (ASKs). The ASKs contain full applications that are aimed at solving a few specific business problems, as well as instructions for extending the applications to other use cases and code templates to get you up and running quickly.  

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Topics: How-To, IBM Watson, Recipes

Another Step Closer to Building Empathetic Systems

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By: Jalal Mahmud on February 23, 2016 at 10:00 AM

A person’s emotions often significantly impact his or her behavior and performance in the real world. As such, understanding emotions is a key component of effective communication and understanding between individuals.

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Topics: AlchemyAPI, New Features, IBM Watson

Watson Learns About Love

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By: Greg Schoeninger on February 22, 2016 at 10:17 AM

Roses are red. Violets are blue. How do people feel about Valentine’s Day? Watson can tell you.

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Topics: User Stories, IBM Watson

Solving the "Noisy" Data Problem One Feature at a Time

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By: Rob Delwo on February 17, 2016 at 7:20 AM

Back in May, 2015, AlchemyAPI launched its News API service, which allowed users to query the World’s news like a database. Many customer interviews (and 1 billion transactions) later, we are excited to announce the implementation of two of the most highly-requested features: Publisher Rank and De-Duplication. Both of these features help solve the “noisy” data problem, giving users the ability to hone in on the information that matters.

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Topics: AlchemyAPI, New Features, AlchemyData News

Watson Goes to Kindergarten

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By: Alyssa Simpson on February 15, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Do you remember learning to read? I have a distinct memory of being 5 years old, spread out on the floor of my Kindergarten classroom working on complex shape and color matching workbooks. I was an eager kindergartener, and we ravaged through those workbooks as quickly as we could. I have to admit though – I couldn’t read very well – I was following the cues of my peers. I can remember being asked to read a sentence out loud and struggling to put the letters together. For me, and many other children, learning to read was difficult. With the advancement of technology, teachers (albeit a different kind) are now looking to teach computers to read as well, and it isn’t as easy as you might think. 

Photo received from Creative Commons.
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Topics: Computer Vision & Image Recognition, New Features