NZ's Pingar moves quickly into Office 365 app store

Pingar's app aimed at easing task of saving metadata for documents

As Microsoft launches the customer preview of its new Office suite, New Zealand’s Pingar already has two free apps in the Office Store – a feature of Office 365. They will be available there for the duration of the preview.

The Pingar app for Microsoft Word uses the natural-language understanding capabilities of Pingar to create a summary of a Word documents in seconds.

This can be included in the document itself, or shared externally, for example in an email or blog post. “A document’s readability can be improved by letting readers know the most important information, and why they should read on,” says a company statement.

The summarising capability can be tailored to the interests of staff or outside recipients, chief research officer Alyona Medelyan explains. It extracts from initial texts entities that might be of interest and the organisation chooses those that are really pertinent to its work or the needs of a particular audience. These interest points are then recorded against a whole corpus of documents, so they can be summarised appropriately with no further attention.

Pingar’s Metadata Extraction app is aimed at easing the task of saving metadata for documents, ensuring readers can find the right document, in the right place, and at the right time.

Applying consistent and comprehensive metadata for documents can be a time-consuming and cumbersome challenge that results in inconsistent data. As with summarising, what is important to one reader or author may not be the same as what is important to another, Medelyan says. In the free version of the product, the user is presented with a number of standard taxonomies, classifying entities that may be important and can choose one of these. In the full version, the organisation can define and apply its own taxonomy.

Pingar can automatically relate the words in the text to concepts in the taxonomy, distinguishing, for example, between uses of “bridge” that refer to a built object and those that refer to a card game, Medelyan says.

Pingar’s Metadata Extraction App can identify keywords, addresses, people, dates and more, making metadata consistent and improving the discoverability of important information.

The free apps allow a limited number of calls per month to the Pingar API. The paid version lifts these restrictions.

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