Agolo: Summarizing Complex Information Quickly

By his own admission, he was a nerd as a child growing up in Seattle. He went to nerd camp and learned to program when he was 8. His name is Sage Wohns and he is the co-founder and CEO of Agolo.

Benzinga spoke with Wohns recently about his company and his background.

Benzinga: What is Agolo and what does it do?

Sage Wohns: Agolo is the world’s most advanced summarization software. It does 3 things. It scans relevant data sets. It conceptualizes and organizes those data sets into information. This involves saying, for example, this article relates to that tweet or to this PDF.

After conceptualizing, Agolo groups the data sets together and finally comes summarization. This is when the software reads everything and writes its own brief version of the story. Now, with just a couple of bullet points you can ingest and understand immensely complex topics.

Is it the summarization that makes Agolo unique?

Yes. Instead of starting with a question like you would with search, we start with the content itself. Then we understand that content and create a better version.

Others do scan or even scan and organize. Agolo’s summarization is something I can confidently say makes this the world’s best summarization platform. There’s a reason Thompson Reuters uses us. There’s a reason Microsoft works with us.

Also, accuracy. We use three different metrics – rouge, a journalistic message and human evaluation. We are leading on all 3.

Can you provide an example of how it all works?

Take, for example, a Tesla earnings report we processed recently. We scanned 58 different documents, analysts’ reports, news articles and so forth. Agolo organized it into 7 different buckets, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X and so forth.

Then the software wrote a summary around each bucket and finally a master summary saying, “These are the most important takeaways from the Tesla earnings report.”

So, how long did that process take compared to doing it manually?

That’s one of the incredible things about algorithmic summarization. For an analyst to do this takes about 35 hours.

Our algorithm did it in about 10.3 seconds.

Who is Agolo for?

Knowledge workers, broadly. Anyone whose job is informed by their knowledge acquisition. Right now, we’re focusing on finance. In finance we see a real hunger for AI systems that can automate a lot of the efficiency-based process.

With Agolo, people can spend more time and effort on the actual investment decision and then all the heavy lifting around all the research necessary can be automated.

How about an example that pertains specifically to finance?

Focusing on M&A where there is an actual data room where it takes from one to six months to be able to look through all of that data to understand the immense complexity of the company that’s being acquired.

Interestingly, that process is totally manual and done by experts over a long span of time. Everyone wants to get that deal done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Where the hard feelings, and when problems come in, is three months down the line when all of a sudden a red flag pops up. What we can do is make sure that on day one you know where that potential red flag is by utilizing algorithmic summarization.

Sage Wohns

Sage Wohns

Tell us a little bit about your background and history.

I’ve been an engineer since I was a child growing up in Seattle. It was a great benefit to have Microsoft and other leading technology firms in the area. They have nerd camps and you get to learn to program when you’re 8.

I had a little business when I was a kid making websites for local shops – thinking about it, I guess it was the nerd version of a lemonade stand.

How did that history end up with the creation of a product like Agolo?

Looking in the mirror, I’m a total information addict. What I saw was a lot of content around similar subjects. I went to Columbia business school and met a lot of analysts, consultants and people on both the buy and sell side. These are people who ingest information for a living. Finding the value in all that information is a full-time job.

At Columbia I met my business partner and cofounder, Mohammed Al-Tantawy. He was doing a Ph.D. in summarization, one of those technologies that’s been around but rarely has it actually worked so well as it does with Mohammed’s touch.

Together we found a way to commercialize it with phenomenal partners like Microsoft, Thompson Reuters and Citi.

How does monetization work with the platform?

We have a per seat charge with a lot of customization for high level clients. People can sign up online and start using Agolo which has different packages everything from premium newsfeed content to such things as summarizing your One Drive, for example.

What about future plans for the company?

Our basic philosophy is that any efficiency based processing a knowledge-worker does should be algorithmically automated. So that person can do that job faster, better with higher accuracy.

We’re going to be going after different things our clients bring to us, for example meeting minutes or any other sort of input. Two specific areas we will be working on are multilingual and cross genre. I really want to bring those in.

What we do used to be exclusively available to the executive set. The question is “How do you do that for everyone?” Our solution is algorithmic summarization.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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