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California-based Yewno empowers researchers, students, and educators to discover knowledge across interdisciplinary fields and correlate concepts from millions of often fragmented sources. Ruth Pickering, Co-founder and Chief Business Development and Strategy Officer at Yewno, expresses her viewpoint on knowledge discovery and talks about how significant it is to transform information into knowledge.
What prompted the outset of Yewno?
Yewno is the outcome of academic research, which started at Kings College London in 2009 in the field of Applied Mathematics. After carrying out his first proof of concept successfully with the finance community in London, our CEO Ruggero Gramatica wanted to perform a second proof of concept, again in a field of complex systems, this time in the field of Life Sciences. He found the perfect opportunity for this endeavor in Switzerland with a Biotech company that was looking to repurpose existing drug molecules to cure rare diseases. In Switzerland, Gramatica met Professor Michael Keller, Stanford University’s Vice Provost and University Librarian. Professor Keller invited our CEO to finish his PhD research with a project building an interdisciplinary inference engine, which became Yewno’s first product— Yewno Discover. It transforms the research experience into creative, inferential discovery that makes researchers, scholars, students, and teachers more efficient, allowing them to surface hidden connections and explore knowledge more deeply.
At Yewno, we are “transforming information into knowledge.” Yewno allows users to surface the concepts they are looking for in less time from the vast amount of content available today. Our dynamic knowledge graph connects concepts and surfaces relationships between concepts that might otherwise go unnoticed. Drawing from our vast and growing repository of scholarly and academic content, the possibilities for knowledge discovery are endless. Making knowledge discovery visually engaging, our web-based applications are intuitive and fun to use.
What predicaments do you see in knowledge discovery and how does your offering overpower those?
One of the biggest challenges in knowledge discovery today is the volume of data available and its fragmentation, which makes it difficult to find relevant content and obtain knowledge from the information available. We have identified Government and Life Sciences as two areas where students and researchers encounter data that is widely available but particularly voluminous and fragmented, and we have developed specific solutions to address these problems.
At Yewno, we are uniquely positioned to solve this problem by making the information accessible at the conceptual and contextual levels. We have ingested over 70 million open US Federal Government documents into the Discover platform that allows students and researchers to explore these documents and identify unexpected connections without understanding the government policies.
Life Sciences content poses another major challenge, as it can be scattered between public and private databases, and the research papers are sometimes contradictory.
Yewno facilitates broad exploration and gives users the ability to hone in on relevant and interesting connections from our database of over 200 million scholarly resources
By bringing this fragmented data together in a user-friendly knowledge graph that helps researchers venturing into complex lines of inquiry, Yewno gives students and researchers new opportunities in the study of complex biomedical systems. By forming connections between data that researchers may not have detected the “old-fashioned” way, it helps them venture into lines of inquiry, paving the way for further investigation and innovation.
Please elaborate on Yewno’s products, defining how they empower the students and researchers?
Our products—Yewno Discover and Yewno Create—empower users to navigate intuitively through concepts, relationships, and interdisciplinary fields to enhance their understanding and knowledge. We help users to find the important aspects faster, giving them more time to focus on reasoning their arguments. Yewno facilitates broad exploration and gives users the ability to hone in on relevant and interesting connections from our database of over 200 million scholarly resources.
Yewno Discover can ingest clients’ own data sources, such as material curated by universities, to further enrich the overall resources available to users. We recently launched Yewno Create, which goes a step further by facilitating the writing of research papers. This is of particular interest to secondary school students writing research papers for the first time. Further, Yewno Create walks them through the research process and provides step-by-step guidance on how to present that research, while also allowing for peer collaboration and submission to open source journals where students can share their findings externally.
It’s important to not only educate students through subject material, but also to foster a passion for continuous learning and overcoming the frustrations they face due to the huge amount of content. Discover makes knowledge discovery enjoyable while Create takes that one step ahead, particularly for students who are not yet accustomed to writing and presenting research. Once students have made incredible discoveries, Create shows them how to present their findings in a way that is logical, shareable, and useful to other students.
Cite a case study where Yewno helped a client overcome their obstacles and achieve profitable results?
A great example is that of Kamran Naim, a doctoral candidate and a part-time instructor in Stanford Graduate School of Education who uses Yewno Discover for his own research. Understanding the importance of developing digital literacy skills to survive today’s deluge of information, he believes that the available content exceeds anyone’s ability to read it. Therefore, he was glad to include Yewno Discover as a class activity for a new course on the Future of Information. He found Discover valuable in multidisciplinary work as it allowed students to learn new terms across different topics. With the help of Discover, Kamran wishes to explore the way authors across fields of study address cultural and ethical values exhibited by librarians, publishers, and other information practitioners. Yewno’s knowledge map allows Kamran to investigate concepts and relationships between concepts to help broaden the keywords used in his research.
Could you share the milestones achieved by the company?
Today, Yewno is growing in many ways. We are expanding both geographically and across the industries. Yewno Discover has gained immense attention and is rapidly blooming among higher education Universities around the world. The quality and breadth of our content is continually increasing. We have recently expanded our set of content to include Chinese and German content.