get reliable information for Topics with the top tweet it was shared in. Here for virology

Reliable information from trustworthy sources via Cronycle topics

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This post describes why professionals who monitor industries can trust and benefit from Cronycle Topics – an expertise network capable of surfacing reliable information across more than 80,000 topics from trustworthy sources.

Trusting artificial intelligence at work is hard. The main reason is that professionals are under constant pressure to keep up their productivity, learning and quality. Unfortunately, AI is only as good as the intent of the makers and the data it is fed. These are two causes for bias. Let’s look at where Cronycle stands on both, in an age where finding reliable information has become so hard and filtering so critical. And then I’ll share how you can benefit from Topics and how we make them transparent.

Bias risk #1 – the maker’s intent

Cronycle’s technology comes from Right Relevance, a startup it merged with around three years ago.

How the search for reliable information started

The Right Relevance co-founder and Cronycle CEO, Vishal Mishra, is the mastermind behind the Cronycle Topics. With his previous experience at Microsoft, he has a deep understanding of the professional software space.

He started from the problem of information overload and the difficulty of finding relevant content in specific topics. This is particularly critical when monitoring industries.

We were using a variety of ways to find the latest and most relevant information (articles, videos, opinions, etc.) on the topics of our interest from bookmarking URLs, to Wikipedia, to Googling for articles from people we cared to read, to Feedly-like RSS curation, to Flipboard, and more recently curating Twitter lists. None of these truly catered to our needs, and even with the time and energy we spent, relevance, dynamism and missing out on something valuable were still serious concerns.

The most basic premise is that whenever we’re really looking for very specific information, the first thought that comes naturally is to seek out the source (person or website) that has the most knowledge, expertise and experience on the topic in question. 

Vishal Mishra, Co-founder

You can read more about the founding story in this blog post.

A different intent than big platforms

Other AIs surface news, mainly from Google, Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, they all have a very different intent – increase advertisement revenue through higher engagement.

So the comparison on maker’s intent is easy when you look for reliable information and trustworthy sources. Would you trust a system designed to make money from ads? Or one conceived to help professionals find qualitative and reliable information?

Cronycle’s business model was never ad revenue. Instead, it is based purely on customers subscriptions, and the original intent remains unchanged.

Bias risk #2 – the data our AI is fed

Cronycle Topics leverage data from expertise networks. Why rely on experts? And who are they?

A spontaneous peer-reviewed system

By definition, experts know their subjects inside and out. Because they connect together in loose topical communities, they are constantly being monitored by their peers. Very much like in academic research, reviewing by peers is a fact of professional life. Their expertise being their bread and butter, they usually put real thought into what they share, both in terms of information and trustworthy sources. Social networks have made this peer review faster, easier, more spontaneous – and even pretty resilient. You can rest on giants’ shoulders to grow knowledge faster and better.

However, like everyone else, members of the expertise network are humans (or groups thereof). They usually have their own agenda – no technology can fix that aspect of human nature. Fortunately, Cronycle collects information from as wide a spectrum of expertise as possible (location and opinion agnostic). It also scans through a very large number of web domains (more than 2 million every month) to fetch content. To our knowledge, this is the best way available to compare, get to reliable information, and avoid information bubbles.

Employing expertise networks and signals to monitor industries and surface reliable information

Cronycle provides an unparalleled (but not exhaustive) list for the expertise network covering those active on Twitter. The reason for choosing Twitter is two-fold.

First, over the last 6 years, we’ve noticed that all reasonably good professional information eventually makes it to Twitter. When the authors don’t post there, their peers within the same topic do.

Twitter is also the only platform with scale and diversity that shares data to other companies. LinkedIn may be one of the best places to monitor industries, but it remains a locked walled garden.

Our engine takes users’ actions on Twitter as a signal to surface relevant content. We prioritize original tweets, retweets with comment, and retweets over likes. Also, Topics use Natural Language Processing to filter in content that matches the Topic’s semantics. We define the semantics using other sources such as Wikipedia. Vishal has described the technology in this post. It works very well in particular in domains such as healthcare.

Transparency on how Topics surface reliable information

We’ve done a recent update to our Topics pages in Cronycle, where you can discover and explore Topics and the expertise network.

use experts as reliable sources of information - here an example with top virology experts

On any Topic content tab, you can now see the top tweets an article or video is mentioned in.

get reliable information for Topics with the top tweet it was shared in. Here for virology

You can also see which expertise network influencers shared it. This is very helpful to assist you in verifying whether it is reliable information and why it ended up there.

check reliability and context with more tweets a content was shared in, useful to monitor industries and conversations

Topics help you discover content from a near infinite ocean of trustworthy sources through an expertise network’s eyes. For transparency, we always display the domain where it is published. The domain includes a link to the actual content, and even let you filter out domains from your feed.

Relevance filter

We’ve also added a relevance filter. For each 24-hour period, the content is sorted from most to least relevant based on semantics and number of shares across our entire expertise network.

Last but not least, our Topics technology is an expertise network – where even Topics are interconnected and intersect one another. Cronycle provides that information with our suggested Topics in both the feeds and Topics pages. This helps you identify domains to monitor, learn about a subject, and efficiently monitor industries. This is the beginning of improved knowledge flows.

Building upon that, you can use Cronycle feeds to aggregate sources and filter content. This way, you get just what you need to monitor industries, conduct secondary research, and curate content.

The Cronycle boards are the ideal place to save the best content, organize it, make sense of it (alone or as a team), extract insights and publish.

Discover the power of Cronycle for Teams

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