Two days ago, SingTel, a Singapore-based telecom conglomerate, announced its strategic partnership with Nara Logics, a Cambridge firm which offers a “cloud-based neural network and algorithm” to better search and curation of web data.

The technology will be first be ushered into Malaysia, followed by Australia and then finally, Singapore to provide subscribers with an improved restaurants recommendations engine. With permission from customers, they track and foretell what you would like in terms of dining spaces and cuisines with your preferences.

Loo Cheng Chuan, local head of SingTel’s Digital Life division shared that they are looking to “make more meaning out of data” and “create serendipitous discoveries for … customers across the globe”.

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Last year, the media and communications giant acquired Singapore-based startup HungryGoWhere for US$9.7 million. The platform which deals with food guides, restaurant recommendations and reviews, has been rather stagnant in terms of features, updates and growth. In an article on TechCrunch, writer Victoria Ho talked about the “mash” of editorial content from inSing, SingTel’s lifestyle e-zine. That seems to be the only proof of progress till date.


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So you see where we are going with this – it is very possible that this technology will be used for HungryGoWhere. A current example of what a Nara-powered HungryGoWhere would be is Burpple Web. I was rather sure that Burrple was recommending restaurants pretty well when I searched for “Japanese food”, but a search for “Vietnamese food in Orchard” turned out to show “The Marmalade Pantry” instead. Definitely more work needed to be done there. Could Nara help HungryGoWhere refine not only its search but recommendation to users by matching it with their profile, search and visit history?

Thomas Copeman, CEO and founder of Nara, added that the “platform was designed to handle massive amounts of both structured and unstructured date and provide personalization.” Currently, they re-index big data by copying “human intelligence and computation based on modern neuroscience principles.”

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