Looking for a way to get the gist of articles before reading them? Tanay Tandon has the answer for you! In this interview, he will tell us more about Clipped, a tool he recently launched.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Tanay, thank you for answering my questions. First, tell us who you are.
Tanay Tandon: I am currently a sophomore at Cupertino High School. As a student I really enjoy participating in Speech and Debate, playing Tennis, and working on programming projects.
CM: Is there a particular event that triggered your desire to create Clipped?
TT: I first began to develop Clipped as a way to read evidence files in Speech and Debate faster. The files we have to read as part of a debate can sometimes span dozens of pages, and I wanted a way to read just a quick preview, or summary of the text. That's when I wrote the first version of the algorithm, and used it frequently to summarize my own case files.
After I saw how useful it was for myself, I decided to develop an app available to everyone that could make the process of news reading a lot faster.
CM: Clipped analyzes text grammatically to extract the most important information from an article. What does it mean, exactly?
TT: Essentially, that statement means that Clipped can identify certain trends within sentences and phrases, and use them to extract the information that is pertinent to the article. The algorithm can use subject-predicate relationships to identify where the information is concentrated, and then analyze that information for the summary accordingly.
CM: Your tool also offers keyword search. Could you tell us a little more about that?
TT: Yes - with keyword search, people can discover content about exactly what they want. Say I'm interested in Tennis. I would just type in 'tennis' and would immediately find a ton of summaries relevant to the field tennis. In this way, the Clipped app tries to be the perfect combination of content discovery, and content consumption.
CM: Clipped is currently available as a bookmarklet and Chrome extension, as well as iPhone and Android apps. Do you plan on expanding this availability?
TT: Definitely - with the growing number of Windows phone users, along with the massive iPad and Nook markets, I will surely look to expand the app to these devices as well. With the next update, I'll try to include iPad and Nook compatibility and will perhaps move on to include other platforms from there.
CM: In this era of quick digital consumption, what role do you think Clipped will play for readers?
TT: I think that Clipped can potentially play a big role on how we consume content on mobile devices. Currently articles and blog posts are still written in a way and length formatted for laptops and desktops. With Clipped, I want to take that content and cut down to the essence of it for mobile users. In this way I'll hopefully be supporting the fast-paced feel of mobile devices, and yet provide a way to stay updated with the world's happenings.
CM: Are you working on something else right now?
TT: Currently this is my only project. I'm definitely interested in the field, and hope to continue work on it in the future.
There's a lot of innovation in the field of Natural Language Processing, and I look forward to continuing to tinker with ideas like Clipped.
CM: Anything you would like to add?
TT: I'd just like to say that Clipped has been an awesome experience, and I'm really looking forward to expanding on it in the coming months. If there's one thing that I've learnt from all the feedback that I've gotten in the last week - it's that products will always continue to grow with the advice and ideas of the community. I'm really excited to take all these ideas, and begin work on some cool new features, as well as making appropriate fixes to the product.