Alcméon was born in 2011. Our original idea was to sort online discussion forums to find the best answers to practical questions like « Where can I find my laser printer’s driver ? » or « In what season should one plant a raspberry tree ? » :-) We decided to develop a new text mining algorithm to achieve this goal. Our belief was, and still is, that most answers exist somewhere already online, at least partially, and that social networks will let us offer users a service that traditional search engines cannot provide. We chose our name in tribute to an unfairly unknown Greek philosopher from the 5th century BC : Alcméon, the philosopher of moderation !
From 2012 to 2015, with financial support from the French National Research Agency, we worked on the OCKTOPUS (Online Content and Knowledge Triage : Optimizing the Productivity of User Search) research project in partnership with Inria (French National Institute for Information Technology Research) and CNRS (French National Scientific Research Center). Early 2015, we were awarded a US patent , « Scoring of Interrelated Message Elements », for our algorithm.
Finding answers is one thing, but finding questions is another ! As many online users ask questions to friends or directly to brands in social networks, we imagined a platform to send them our answers. And because nothing is possible without a business model, we offered brands to use our platform to answer users’ questions. Two visionary clients, Orange and Voyages-scnf.com, were the first to trust us.
Launched in April 2015, we designed it for its extreme simplicity, to allow a user to master it within minutes. In the background, our powerful technology makes the user’s work more interesting by automating boring tasks, and letting him focus on what will never be automated: empathy, sense of humor etc. .