In this post we go into the motivation and vision behind Caption’s new product and sketch the roadmap.

Search was supposed to be a solved problem, right? The principal algorithms have been around for decades at this stage. Not only did Google revolutionize the field for consumers all over the world, but enterprise players like Elastic, Algolia, and numerous others have made it easy for companies of any size, from Fortune 500 giants to nimble startups, to seamlessly index and search their files. What, then, is the catch?

Motivation and opportunity

An important consequence of the current COVID-19 crisis is that numerous other important problems have been starved of the attention they might otherwise be getting. Today we’ll occupy ourselves with one such problem: the problem of fake news.

And we could rightly claim that the problem is particularly important in crises like this one, given the importance of keeping the public up-to-date with the most relevant information out there, and keeping misinformation to a bare minimum, or ideally eradicating it altogether. …

The winners for 2019 have just been announced, so it’s a great time to start lobbying for next year. Congrats to Ed Catmull (also the author of the amazing book “Creativity, Inc.”) and Pat Hanrahan.

It is perhaps as bad a time as any to write anything even remotely laudatory about Big Tech, and the more prominent among the company chieftains. The two gentlemen that the article deals with are hardly angels: one granting a massive stock package to controversial Android impresario Andy Rubin and over-eagerly delegating anything even remotely unpleasant to Sundar Pichai; the other entertaining the public with…

Building a startup has the reputation of being one of the toughest challenges a person can undertake in their lifetime. And indeed, despite the abundance of resources it actually is rather hard to figure out how to approach all the problems encountered on a daily basis: building the product, managing a team, hiring, fundraising and all that jazz.

I frequently resort to studying the history of great companies: my list of favorite business books contains very good ones on Microsoft and Google, full of facts and short on hero-worship. Yet even with the great ones in this genre (Steven Levy’s…

I often tell (or delude) myself that one of my principal strengths in life is being a voracious reader, of books, newspapers, blogs, and everything in between. I could now go into a litany of abstract and inspirational quotes on the importance of reading, but I leave that for another occasion.

In this post, and a couple of follow-up ones, I’ll be sharing some of the most important books I’ve read and absorbed, along with a brisk summary of the main points. …

Distributed systems are defined by the legendary Leslie Lamport as:

A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn’t even know existed can render your own computer unusable.

Facetious remarks aside, when talking about distributed systems we mean systems in which multiple machines take part in solving a problem. The field is complex and somewhat abstruse, making it difficult for people new to it to see the connection between theory and practice. …

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the effect of automation on the economy, employment, and society itself has been the subject of heated debate. The claim that rapid technological progress would displace workers and create a surge in permanent unemployment has been advanced by generations of technophobes, often with sound reasoning.

Yet the skeptics have been proven wrong every time so far. Productivity has progressed in tandem with technology, leading to ever-higher standards of living. Moreover, there has been no discernible correlation between technological progress and unemployment. This time, though, might be different.

In his book Rise of the Robots, author…

Marin Smiljanic

Building Ex-Amazon Engineer, on AWS and Alexa. Vancouver, BC.

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