Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Indian engineers develop ‘Light’ which could make you stop using Google search

Tall claims are everywhere. But when I tried out the Lightapp, there was substance in the claim. Developed by Indian techies who’ve had experience working in the Bay Area, Lightapp recently came out of stealth at the Gennext Innovation Hub, an accelerator powered by Reliance Industries and Microsoft Ventures. Post launch, we got an email from Sanjeev Nair, a technologist and design guy with close to two decades of experience who had something interesting to show.

A part of the core team, Sanjeev is also one of the investors in Lightapp. And as the tag line suggests, the app is about ‘going beyond search’. Light is an answering engine built on NLP (Natural Language Processing), machine learning and man-machine hybrid technologies. What does that mean? Well, you ask Light a question and it gives you an answer as if you’re having a conversation with it. No links, no searching for answers, the ‘bot’ does it all for you. Yes, there have been efforts on similar lines (including Google), and globally corporates have dedicated teams to work on these technologies making impressive headway, but Light has something noteworthy to show.

I tried out the app and the results were pretty impressive. I tried out a variety of questions, all of which would require different kinds of processing and the responses were accurate. Right from factual information like ‘what is the temperature right now?’ to ‘how deep do roots grow?’ to ‘what is the meaning of life?’, the app had answers that were satisfactory.

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