Artificial Intelligence: How we take it for granted

Posted on by Mike Evans

Ever since I converted to Mac and started my quest for minimalisation I've been a devoted fan of DevonThink Pro as a place to store all my scans and archive material. Every bit of paper that crosses my desk is scanned into DevonThink Pro and instantly shredded. At first I used to worry about not being able to find something; now I have complete confidence that a simple search will lead to to any particular document or, even, any reference (because all my pdfs are run through the OCR engine before Devon stores them away). At first I used an elaborate system of folders to attempt to classify all my stuff; then I realised this isn't necessary and I just put everything in one huge folder and rely on smart folders to collect like material.

All this is possible because of the excellent search facilities and intelligence built into DevonThink Pro but, particularly, into Devon's complementary product, Devon Agent. This internet search and classification program integrates fully with DevonThink Pro and provides researchers with real intelligence-driven assistance in finding and classifying information.  Even the developers are sometimes surprised by developments as this Devon blog post shows:

"We’re working with high-class artificial intelligence (AI) technology now for quite a while and still it sometimes manages to surprise us with exciting results. In our recent tests with DEVONagent it came up with the following really cool topic map:

"We ran an experimental search with a new plugin and received 9 results. DEVONagent gave us the above map for the topic ‘France’. All results were references to books, though, and so returned a lot of data for DEVONagent’s AI to work with.

My expectations of DevonThink Pro are very modest but it does a wonderful job of automatically filding, referencing and storing everything I throw at it. Seldom have I failed to find anything, and then almost certainly because I didn't put it into DTP in the first place. For researchers - even for a blog post but particularly for acedemics and professionals - the combination of Devon Agent and DevonThink Pro provides an invaluable tool.

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