Jump to content


How a 17-Year-Old Brit Is Revolutionizing Mobile News

united kingdom iphone app stanford research institute

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Hum


    totally wAcKed

  • 63,716 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:27

Nick D'Aloisio did not have a typical 17th birthday: instead of celebrating with friends and family, he was busy launching the second edition of his popular iPhone app, Summly. While most 17-year-olds are worried about SATs and prom, D'Aloisio has kept busy by creating a news summarization app with over $1 million in financial backing.

Summly uses an algorithm to summarize news stories from the largest news organizations. The summaries are designed to fit a mobile screen perfectly.

"We worked very hard to create the user interface," D'Aloisio tells The Daily Ticker, "but equally, the technology is very robust…we've hired the best people in the world to create this algorithm that can take any news article, determine whether or not it's summarizable, and then produce a coherent paragraph of text automatically with no human intervention that's very scalable."

When D'Aloisio says he's hired the best people for the job, he isn't exaggerating. Summly works closely with the Stanford Research Institute to create the summary technology behind the program. SRI International also owns a small share in the company.

Summly has also partnered with News Corp. (NWS) in order to summarize articles that are normally behind a pay wall. D'Aloisio insists that other news organizations are also interested in Summly and that his application doesn't cannibalize traffic but instead drives interested parties to the news Web site.

"We're driving traffic, we're increasing discoverability of their content, and most importantly we're making it all look pretty and beautiful," explains D'Aloisio.


#2 vetGeoffrey B.

Geoffrey B.


  • 16,355 posts
  • Joined: 25-July 05
  • Location: Ohio
  • OS: Windows
  • Phone: Galaxy S6 Edge

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:28

i love to see young minds doing amazing things, always makes you think about what is to come in the future.

#3 +FiB3R


    "the sun is definitely rising on a new dawn!"

  • 7,847 posts
  • Joined: 06-November 02
  • Location: SE London
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Phone: Lumia 930

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:32

I hate to see young minds doing amazing things, always makes me realise how much I suck.


#4 PsYcHoKiLLa


    Views expressed are not necessarily those of the management

  • 1,610 posts
  • Joined: 04-February 07
  • Location: Over there somewhere
  • OS: Windows 8.1 and flirting with Windows 10
  • Phone: LG Nexus 4

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:33

Pretty AND beautiful? Where do I sign up?

#5 Charisma



  • 4,594 posts
  • Joined: 02-May 10
  • Location: Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:34

I hate to see young minds doing amazing things, always makes me realise how much I suck.


This is what I was about to say! I'm like "man, I didn't do anything cool like that, and now it's too late" :laugh:

#6 Asrokhel



  • 1,027 posts
  • Joined: 05-April 12
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro x64 (testing to see if I keep it or go back to Windows 7)

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:36

Sorry Hum, beat you to it by just over two weeks:


#7 +jamesyfx


    Neowinian Senior

  • 8,383 posts
  • Joined: 04-February 06
  • Location: Manchester, UK
  • OS: OS X 10.9 / Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:38

I use Pulse but it's not as clean and slick as a lot of people say it is. It would be good if this app gets onto Google Play so I can give it a whirl.

#8 Mr.XXIV


    TSM > C9

  • 2,828 posts
  • Joined: 30-April 11
  • Location: Durham, North Carolina
  • OS: OS X Yosemite
  • Phone: iPhone 5s

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:42

I've always wanted friends my age who could code with me at all. :/

#9 AJerman


    Boomer Sooner!

  • 5,512 posts
  • Joined: 24-July 02
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 19 November 2012 - 16:42

Hmm.... looks pretty nice, but I don't have an iPhone to try it out. From just the looks of it, I'd say it looks a little over designed. A little too much eye candy and not enough content, but I'd have to play with it to know for sure. There are a lot of alternatives out there, but to be built by a 17 year old is quite impressive. At 17 I was writing apps to make the mouse bounce around the screen to screw with my CS teacher. Makes me feel pretty useless now, haha. I signed up for the Android notification so I'll try it out when it hits that platform. I suspect the higher screen resolution will lend itself well to the app's ability to display the eye candy alongside the content better.

#10 Brian M.

Brian M.

    Neowinian Senior

  • 13,115 posts
  • Joined: 07-January 05
  • Location: London, UK

Posted 19 November 2012 - 19:53

Sorry Hum, beat you to it by just over two weeks: