whats known and unknown

Wibbitz wants to be the “play button” for text media

on November 12, 2013


Online reading is often incomplete. Most of you won’t finish this piece — many won’t even come close. Text-to-video app Wibbitz would like to change that, counterintuitively, by not making people have to read at all.

Wibbitz, which released a new version last week that includes video and updates in line with iOS 7 design, uses algorithms that learn from user feedback and instantly turn text articles into narrated animations. It does so by surfacing relevant video, creating ad hoc infographics and panning across licensed images — all without any human editing.

Potentially terrifying, I know. But according to founders Zohar Dayan and Yotam Cohen, the service has a 90 percent accuracy rating (as scored by user feedback) and it actually retains a lot more of the original piece than you’d get from some aggregators. Each vertical — technology, sports, world news — approaches the video summaries differently, Cohen said, responding to the…

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