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Everline Future 50: Rainbird

An early-stage artificial intelligence (AI) play now, from young Norwich-based entrepreneur Ben Taylor (an ex-Adobe computer scientist with a degree in AI) and tech business angel James Duez.
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At its simplest, RainBird enables you to structure small nuggets of knowledge into a knowledge base and embed an interactive web widget into your website. You can also talk to what you create via an API. You ask your knowledge base questions and it asks questions back in a consultative manner. When building a RainBird knowledge base you are not trying to craft a “big thing”. You are telling RainBird little things you know and letting RainBird join the dots.

RainBird is an inference-based artificial intelligence engine capable of applying reasoning to reach a conclusion. Says Taylor: “RainBird can solve a wide range of problems efficiently using knowledge supplied by authors and facts provided by users. It learns more about its field simply by being used and can solve problems beyond those the author visualised and can consult with you in any language the author chooses.”

Artificial intelligence principles have been around since the seventies, but the development of expert systems (“Knowledge Engineering”) has, until now, been elusive.

“We are used to information everywhere like Wikipedia, but you can’t consult interactively with Wikipedia. RainBird is a new concept,” say these two entrepreneurs.

RainBird is currently aimed at regular software developers, without a background in AI or knowledge engineering. The beta release in Spring 2014 will include tools that will enable the rest of us to encapsulate their knowledge and publish it, without any software development expertise.

RainBird is AI for the masses!

Core to the offering is a “Marketplace” – a zone where authors can publish access to their finished knowledge bases so users can access them, search by topic, and read reviews and ratings provided by others. RainBird authors can connect to public knowledge bases can to expand the scope of their own knowledge base. The system can then traverse across these linked knowledge bases making it even more powerful when solving problems.

RainBird has a big social enterprise component and the vast majority of users will be able to use it for free, including schools and universities.

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