Spark a love for literacy with February’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet |

In celebration of World Read Aloud Day and February Literacy Month, we’re making literacy the guiding star for this month’s TweetMeet. With the help of our global education experts – and our invitation to you – we’ll discuss a range of aspects of literacy: How have you incorporated literacy in your lessons, and how do you spark the love for reading and writing in your students? What strategies work best to overcome daily challenges in the classroom?

We’re also getting some help this time around from Skype in the Classroom Literacy partners like Little Brown (@lbschool), Penguin Young Readers (@PenguinClass), LitWorld (@LitWorldSays) and others. Thank you for joining us!

The #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet will take place on Tuesday, February 19th, at 10:00 a.m. PST (check your time zone here). (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

We offer 5 simultaneous language tracks this month: English, French, Polish, Romanian and Serbian. Here’s a quick look at all language tracks and their corresponding Twitter hashtags for the February TweetMeet:

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. As always, we’re super grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language. For example: Polish-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetPL #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.

Learn how to spark a love for literacy in the next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet! Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST. #MSFTEduChat #Literacy Click To Tweet

TweetMeet fan? Show it off on your Twitter profile

Every month more and more people discover the unique flow and characteristics of the TweetMeet events and become passionate about them. Show your passion for the TweetMeets right from your own Twitter page by uploading this month’s #MSFTEduChat Twitter Header Photo to the top of your own Twitter profile. Besides English, this same Twitter Header Photo is also available in each of this month’s additional language tracks.

Looking back on the January TweetMeet on Transforming Classroom Time

Last month’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet generated fascinating and practical conversations and insights from educators around the world. We captured some highlights from this broad discussion in this @MicrosoftEDU Twitter Moment.

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

We’re grateful to have a support group made up exclusively of former TweetMeet hosts, who volunteer to translate communication and check the quality of our questions and promotional materials. They also help identify the best candidates for future events, provide relevant resources, promote the events among their networks, and, in general, cheer everybody on.

When and how can I join?

Join us Tuesday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST on Twitter using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat, #Literacy and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.

From our monthly surveys we know that you may be in class at event time, busy doing other things or maybe even asleep – well, no problem! All educators are most welcome to join after the event. Simply take a look at the questions below and respond to these at a day and time that suit you best. You can also schedule your tweets in advance. In that case, be sure to quote the entire question and mention the hashtag #MSFTEduChat, so that everyone knows the right question and conversation to which you are responding. Mark the exact timings – they are different this month.

How can I best prepare?

We also have a special Minecraft: Education Edition resource from two of this month’s hosts:

Verona Adventure

Explore this Minecraft: Education Edition world made by hosts Ben Spieldenner and Simon Baddeley. Take your students through an argumentative writing adventure set against the background of the classic story of Romeo and Juliet, staged in the city of Verona.

Plus, get ready Skype in the Classroom’s Literacy Month:

We are partnering Little Brown Young Readers and will be wrapping up our celebrations with a free broadcast event and live Q&A. Classrooms and families are invited to join us on March 6th to meet Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the hugely popular “How to Train Your Dragon” series. Cressida will inspire students to tap into their boundless imagination and will show how using character development and details in stories make them more believable and fun.

TweetMeet questions

In response to your feedback, we’ve reduced the number of discussion questions to just 4. This will give everyone more time to engage with one another.


We’re excited to introduce the 13 hosts for this month’s TweetMeet. They’re all passionate about literacy and thrilled to talk to you and offer their insights. You can see them all and follow them with a click on our TweetMeet list.

  • Ben Spieldenner @BenSpieldenner (MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor, Co-Director Cross Pond Collaborations, High School English Teacher & Educational Technologist – Ashland OH, USA)
  • Bushra Anis Naqvi @banaqvi (Teacher, trainer, researcher, speaker, futurist and active enthusiast working to prove how technologies can change educators and education – Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Claudia Daniels @ClaudiaRDaniels (Aspiring for Better – making a difference in the life of a child through reading, writing, poetry, Flipgrid, ClassDojo, MIE Expert – Cobb County GA, USA)
  • Dyane Smokorowski @Mrs_Smoke (2013 KS Teacher of the Year, 2009 NSBA Top 20 to Watch, Google Certified, Skype MT, ECET2KS, Inst Tech Coach, EdCampKS, Speaker, Global Collaboration Evangelist – Andover KS, USA)
  • Hammed Abdulazeez @hammedabdulaz (MIE Expert, MIE Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, EduTech Expert, Member British Council Liberary of Experience for Diversity and Inclusion – Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Holly Holland @HollandEdTech (Reading Coach, MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher, OneNote Avenger, Seesaw Ambassador, Flipgrid Ambassador – Tampa FL, USA)
  • Jacek Zablocki @JacekZablocki (Primary school teacher of English and ICT, MIE Expert passionate about Mystery Skype – Wasilkow, Poland)
  • Linda Edwards @LindaEdwardsi (Special Needs Educator, TDSB, Seesaw Ambassador, Buncee Ambassador, Class Dojo Mentor, Flipgrid GridGuide & Ambassador, MIE, Go Bubble Ambassador, Wakelet Member – Toronto, Canada)
  • Martha Bongiorno @Mrs_Bongi (MIE Expert passionate about future-ready libraries, embedding technology within literacy campaigns, and student voice in the library – Atlanta GA, USA)
  • Milena Vojinović @voj_milena (Elementary/Middle School ESL Teacher from Serbia, MIE Expert – quite passionate about using ICT tools in class – Leskovac, Serbia)
  • Mirela Tanc @MirelaTanc (Secondary School teacher, TEDx Speaker, Let’s do it Ambassador, MIE Expert & Trainer, member of Harvard Learning Community, TeachSDGs Ambassador, Skype Master Teacher – Oradea, Romania)
  • Natacha Camus @litteratum1 (College and High School Literature Teacher, MIE Expert, passionate about art and its transmission through digital technology – Dijon, France)
  • Simon Baddeley @SimBadd64 (Director of Cross Pond Collaborations, Minecraft Global Mentor, Minecraft Certified Trainer, Content Creator, Innovator, English Teacher – Castleford England, UK)

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

TweetChat expert Madalyn Sklar recently published this helpful introductory guide:
Your Complete Guide to Twitter Chats: Why You Should Join & How to Make the Most of It

Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC on Twitter if you have any questions about TweetMeets or helping out as a host.

Join for next month’s topic: #MakeWhatsNext with STEM

Find the right technology for your school

Find the right technology for your school

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Author: Steve Clarke

Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18836 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing a new build to Insiders who have opted into Skip Ahead. These builds are from the 20H1 development branch. Some things we are working on in 20H1 require a longer lead time. We will begin releasing 19H2 bits to Insiders later this spring after we get 19H1 nearly finished and ready; once 19H1 is “nearly finished and ready” we’ll also use the Release Preview ring for previews of drivers and quality updates on 19H1.
IMPORTANT: As is normal with builds early in the development cycle, builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If you take this flight, you won’t be able to switch back to the Fast or Slow rings without doing a clean-install on your PC and starting over.
If you are looking for a complete look at what build is in which Insider ring – head on over to Flight Hub. You can also check out the rest of our documentation here including a complete list of new features and updates that have gone out as part of Insider flights for the current development cycle.

REMINDER: The new tamper protection setting in the Windows Security app protects your device by helping to prevent bad actors from tampering with the most important security settings. The setting is designed to be on by default, however the default state is not currently in effect for current Insider Preview builds. You may see a new recommendation in the Windows Security app suggesting you turn this setting on.
We fixed an issue where turning off Location from the Action Center might take multiple clicks to react.
We fixed an issue resulting in being unable to re-arrange pinned folders in Start’s tile grid.
We fixed an issue where newly installed apps might not show up in search results.
We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders not being able to open Cortana when in Tablet Mode.
We fixed an issue from the previous flight where right-clicking the desktop would bring up a light colored context menu in dark theme.
We’re updating the name of the “Windows Light” theme to now be “Windows (light)”.
We fixed an issue where Cortana’s icon on secondary monitors wouldn’t update colors after switching between light and dark theme.
We fixed an issue where when using light theme + small icons + a vertical taskbar orientation, text written on the taskbar would stay white and thus wouldn’t be readable.
We fixed an issue that could result in open apps not being shown on the taskbar (but being visible in Alt + Tab).
We fixed an issue resulting in build unable to log into WinRE with an admin account in the last couple of flights.
We’ve made another fix to address reports of devices getting stuck with “Hibernating…” text on the screen on resume from hibernate.
We fixed an issue resulting in greys having an unexpected slight pinkish/purple-ish tinge on some devices in recent flights.
We fixed an issue in Ease of Access’s Cursor and pointer settings, mouse pointer size and color are now retained on upgrade.
We fixed an issue where the Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly.
The issue impacting Creative X-Fi sound cards has been fixed. It’s not fixed.

Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
While we’ve done some work to improve night light reliability in this build, we’re continuing to investigate issues in this space.
When performing Reset this PC and selecting Keep my files on a device that has Reserved Storage enabled the user will need to initiate an extra reboot to ensure Reserved Storage is working again properly.
Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
File Explorer may hang when trying to rename, delete, or move MKV files.
In Windows Sandbox, if you try to navigate to the Narrator settings, Settings app crashes.
Creative X-Fi sound cards are not functioning properly. We are partnering with Creative to resolve this issue.

If you install any of the recent builds from the Skip Ahead and switch to either the Fast ring or the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

ONC, CMS drop information blocking, interoperability rules ahead of HIMSS

ORLANDO, Fla. — The day before the official start of HIMSS, one of the largest health IT conferences in the world, the Department of Health and Human Services announced proposals for new information blocking and interoperability rules.

The highly anticipated proposals by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) aim to improve the exchange of health data, said Eric Hargan, deputy secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, in a call to reporters Monday morning.

Hargan said the proposed rules would enable patients to access all EHR data electronically — and at no cost. As part of that goal, the rules call for the healthcare community to adopt and use standardized APIs, so patients can easily access their data via smartphone apps.

The proposed rules also loosen constraints around information sharing as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. There are only seven situations listed by ONC that could potentially allow healthcare organizations to be exempt from sharing information.

Standards-based APIs a requirement

During the media call, ONC Director Don Rucker said, by requiring standards-based APIs, ONC is establishing the “technical underpinnings” for patient access to medical records asked for in the 21st Century Cures Act.

“We think both our rules will really strike a blow to get transparency for the American public,” he said.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma echoed Rucker’s comments during the call, saying the information blocking and interoperability rules are a natural step for the healthcare community. Take, for example, the 1,500 developers who are using data collected by CMS’ Blue Button 2.0, which collects patient data from health insurers, to build apps that patients can access on their phones to gather their clinical data in one place.

“Consumers routinely perform daily tasks on their phone, paying bills, shopping,” she said. “We believe accessing their health information should be just as easy, convenient and user-friendly.”

Verma said the proposed rules specifically reference the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard, developed by the nonprofit standards organization Health Level Seven, and CMS is “thrilled to continue to support” its development.

In support of its MyHealthEData initiative, which aims to improve patient data access, CMS  has proposed, by 2020, all healthcare organizations doing business with Medicare and Medicaid will be required to share claims and other health information with patients electronically through an API, according to Verma. That way, when patients change plans, they can take their health data with them.

Information blocking and RFIs

ONC listed seven new exceptions to the information blocking rule, or actions, activities or circumstances that would not constitute information blocking by a healthcare provider. Some of the exceptions to the rule include a healthcare organization preventing physical harm to patients or others, promoting electronic health information privacy and security, or recovering costs that have been reasonably incurred. 

Now that the exceptions to the rule have been outlined, the proposed rule would implement provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act meant to stymie information blocking. “The days of holding patient data hostage are over,” Verma said.

Hospitals that engage in information blocking will face penalties and will be publicly reported. “We are going to expose the bad actors who are purposely trying to keep patients from their own information,” she said.

As a condition of Medicare participation, the proposed information blocking and interoperability rules also require hospitals to send electronic notifications to designated healthcare providers when patients are admitted, discharged or transferred from the hospital, according to Verma.

CMS is also seeking feedback through two requests for information on how matching patient data from different health IT systems plays a role in interoperability, as well as how CMS can help improve health IT adoption and data sharing in post-acute settings.

Healthcare industry players react to proposed rules

As healthcare industry players digest the proposed rules, Terri Ripley, CIO at OrthoVirginia in North Chesterfield, Va., and chairman of the HIMSS public policy committee, said her team is already combing through the new rules and is looking forward to how they address data sharing.

“Technically, you can share data now. The technology is there,” Ripley said. “But the policies and the willingness to share, that’s where you’ve got to knock some walls down.”

For Jeffery Smith, vice president of public policy at the American Medical Informatics Association, the ONC information blocking rule is “substantive” and has “far-reaching implications for certified health IT,” he said in an email.

Those of us who have been eagerly awaiting these rules will not be disappointed in the implications of ONC and CMS proposals.
Jeffery Smithvice president of public policy, AMIA

“Of particular interest are the provisions around a new criteria called Electronic Health Information Export, which is meant to provide patients with a complete copy of their entire record in a computable, electric format,” he said. “This concept will be a game changer for patients looking to be first-order participants in their care.”

The identification of FHIR for APIs, as well as specific implementation guides, will “help foster an ecosystem of APIs and apps for clinical and consumer-facing purposes,” Smith said.

“Those of us who have been eagerly awaiting these rules will not be disappointed in the implications of ONC and CMS proposals,” he said.

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European teens use their voices for digital good at Italy’s Safer Internet Day events – Microsoft on the Issues

Cyberbullying, sexting and online well-being are among 16 priority areas selected by young people across the globe as part of the 2020 Smarter Internet for Kids Agenda announced last week in Italy. Microsoft was on hand to hear the ideas and view the work of dozens of teens, all while continuing to promote digital civility, safer and healthier online interactions among all people.

Poster displaying the 2010 Safer Internet for Kids agendaIn an online vote conducted by the European Council for Digital Good, (a “sister” council to Microsoft’s inaugural Council for Digital Good), more than 2,000 youth from 34 countries[1], chose the most significant and topical online safety issues. Privacy and data protection topped the list, while child sexual exploitation, misinformation and hate speech also ranked among the top 16. Digital civility/netiquette came in at No. 18, just missing the top 16 priorities. Yet, related topics online well-being and online safety, took the No. 12 and No. 13 spots, respectively. The 16 goals were selected to mark 16 years of international Safer Internet Day and were announced in Milan on Feb. 4, the eve of Safer Internet Day 2019.

Once the 16 priority areas were identified, young people from 10 countries designed specific targets for each priority, as well as the means of achieving them. On Feb. 3, the teens memorialized their plans in posters that were displayed at a more public event on Feb. 4. Those attending the event voted on the most compelling and informative poster, with the critical topic of online well-being taking the top honor. Across these priorities, youth are calling on people around the world to work with them to reach their goals in just one year, by Safer Internet Day 2020. (Learn more at

Microsoft hosts pre-Safer Internet Day activities in Milan

I had the privilege of attending this series of pre- and Safer Internet Day activities with the teens, including the working session on Feb. 3, held at the Microsoft House. There, 60 young people gathered to learn of the priority areas from members of the European council, discuss the issues and create their posters. Nine teens were then selected to prepare for three separate panel discussions the next day. I worked with and helped to prepare three incredible teens from Greece, Iceland and Italy for a panel on online well-being where sexting, cyberbullying and incitement to harm were the featured topics. The next day, I delivered a presentation about Microsoft’s own Safer Internet Day release and served as the adult respondent on the panel.

“Just touching our screen, we are changing someone else’s life,” Paola from Italy told the audience during the online well-being panel. “Humans are not perfect; we are not perfect, but are we being asked to be perfect” for fear that all of this generation’s youthful missteps will be played out online?

These and other questions made for a thought-provoking and compelling session, where the participants drew distinctions between growing up in decades past and growing up in an online era. They spoke of friends and classmates being driven by “likes” and “followers;” they debated the risks and realities of sexting and encouraged others to stand up for those being bullied or treated uncivilly online.

“Listening and heeding the voice of youth is essential in the online world,” said Janice Richardson, the creator of international Safer Internet Day and the coordinator of the European council. “Children and young people are generally the early adopters of new technology, at a time when they are still developing their values and attitudes and don’t yet have the life experience upon which resilience is built.” (Along with university professor Ernesto Caffo of Telefono Azzurro, Italy’s helpline for children and adolescents, Richardson co-sponsored the events in Milan.)

Adults: Be open to questions from youth about life online

That is precisely why it is equally important to involve and educate parents, teachers, coaches, counselors and other adults in the ways teens and young people are engaging with technology. Youth need to be able to go to adults for advice and guidance about online risk exposure, and this is borne out in research.

On Safer Internet Day 2019, Microsoft released its third annual installment of research from teens and adults in 22 countries about their exposure to 21 different online risks. Data show that now more than ever, teens around the world are turning to parents and other trusted adults for help with online issues. Across the countries surveyed, 42 percent of teens said they asked a parent for help with an online risk in the last year, up 32 percent from the previous year. Meantime, 28 percent of teens said they turned to another trusted adult, up 19 percent. In Italy, those percentages jumped to 44 percent and 21 percent, respectively, up from just 5 percent for both adult groups a year earlier.

The messages from these data for both adults and teens are clear. Parents and teachers need to familiarize themselves with teens’ online activities and the risks young people may encounter online. Most importantly, adults need to be open to talking with youth, focusing on listening and suspending judgment. Meanwhile, teens need to reach out to grown-ups whom they trust if something they see online threatens them or makes them uncomfortable; odds are their friends and classmates are doing the same thing. (View the full 2019 research report here.)

Another youth-focused event took place on Safer Internet Day, Feb. 5 in Rome. Government and law enforcement officials, representatives from technology companies and leaders of nongovernmental organizations assembled to make short presentations to some 200 young people and to respond to their questions. This event was also sponsored by Telefono Azzurro.

Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good champions SID 2019

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., members of Microsoft’s inaugural Council for Digital Good took these messages to their peers and younger kids on Safer Internet Day 2019, with several members holding workshops and after-school activities about embracing digital civility and staying safe online. Our inaugural council was made up of 15 teens from 12 U.S. states selected in 2017 to help spread the word about digital civility and to grow a generation dedicated to safer and healthier online interactions. (Learn more here and here.) Although the official pilot program wound down in July 2018, several teens remain active in promoting digital civility and online safety.

Erin, from Michigan, hosted an event, and got 150 9- to 12-year-olds to commit to safer online habits and practices by advocating for the four tenets of the Microsoft Digital Civility Challenge:

  1. Live the Golden Rule
  2. Respect differences
  3. Pause before replying, and
  4. Stand up for one’s self and others. (Click here to read the full Digital Civility Challenge.)

Bronte, an 18-year-old from Ohio, reached out to fellow high school students, asking them what their ideal internet would look like, and suggesting they sign a “pledge for a safer internet.” Indigo, from California, led 50 fourth- and fifth-graders in games and activities that she created to instill good online behaviors. Other council members also held events in their schools and communities.

We can’t say enough about the young people we’ve met and continue to meet, as we spread the (still fairly new) message of digital civility. We thank them for valuing the concept and for being leaders among their peers and other youth.

Safer Internet Day 2019 may be in the rearview mirror, but there’s still time to commit to putting our best digital foot forward by taking the Digital Civility Challenge and committing to its four ideals. It’s not too late to share your pledge on social media. Use the hashtags #Challenge4Civility and #Im4DigitalCivility. For other information about online safety, visit our website and resources page, and for more regular news and information, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

[1] Albania, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Syria, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States

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Author: Steve Clarke

Web integration platform eases way to machine learning models

Even Hollywood is looking to AI these days.

For the data scientists building the machine learning models that help studios evaluate scripts, deciding whether to focus on creating the algorithms or to also spend time preparing the data to feed the models was a big issue, according to Monica Landers, CEO of StoryFit, a startup based in Austin, Texas.

StoryFit data scientists use analytics to help gauge whether storylines for books, films and TV shows are likely to garner an audience that justifies the effort.

“This is a different way to look at content. We apply data to storytelling,” Landers said.

What Landers described is a mix that relies on text, demographic, social media sentiment and other data — much of it residing on the web — that StoryFit couples with natural language and AI processing to create machine learning models.

While Netflix has been using analytics to fine-tune content programming for some time, it is generally still early going for such efforts. As the cost of entertainment programming has continued to rise, so has interest in data analytics for script selection and doctoring and for promoting productions after launch.

How StoryFit predicts narratives’ success

Monica Landers, CEO, StoryFitMonica Landers

Studios use analytics based on the machine learning models to predict how scripts and manuscripts will fare as they are turned into films, books and so on, as well as to cite areas where writers can make improvements.

Landers said StoryFit has built machine learning models that understand story elements. StoryFit ingests and maps whole texts of books and scripts, and finds patterns and similar offerings. Users can then correlate that information with web recommendations, ratings, reviews and other general signs of online buzz.

Do your data science

For StoryFit, the model is the most important element, and it’s the first focus of the tech team.

“We are resource-bound as a startup. But we realized early on that we were going to need a lot of data,” she said, adding that she did not want data preparation to consume undue amounts of StoryFit data scientists’ time.

The data scientist can focus on just the data, not the data collecting.
Monica LandersCEO, StoryFit

Landers said her team has turned to web data integration tools from to port the data to the machine learning models, so team members can concentrate on the data science part of the process.

The Web Data Integration software enables data scientists to describe the type of data they want and to retrieve it in a suitable database format, she said.

“The data scientist can focus on just the data, not the data collecting,” Landers said. “We get logs, tracking and data structure, and we can get immediately to work.”

Up from site scraping

Tooling for retrieving web data has been around almost from the beginning of the web. But advances continue. Founded in 2012,’s original goal was to extract data from public websites, according to Gary Read, CEO of the vendor, based in Los Gatos, Calif., and tooling related to that task has expanded over time. entered a world in which a variety of so-called site scraping utilities and tools were available. Along the way, the company has added a number of enhancements for data preparation and management to the Web Data Integration platform.

“Companies are starting to rely on data they get from the web. It can be mission-critical. But, sometimes, the data quality becomes very poor. There is a huge multitude of site data variety, and the sites are always changing,” he said.

On Jan. 29, further enhanced the platform with a data quality metrics dashboard, speedier extraction processes and other automated capabilities. Such traits position the tools to be used more in AI and machine learning applications, which thrive on diverse web data, but which can be stymied when fed flawed data sets.

Unique challenges

Back on the model-making side, StoryFit’s Landers said the startup faces other challenges beyond choosing whether to build machine learning models or prepare data. Finding the balance between the familiar and the unique in entertainment analysis is one of them.

It’s important to leave room for art in the screenplay development process, she said, when asked if the AI algorithms might generate uninspiring sequels to former successes, as many Hollywood human teams often do.

“We have to be thoughtful when we are applying machine learning and not replicate or reinforce elements that are repeating either past mistakes or past successes,” she said.

StoryFit analysis has found it’s important both to uncover story elements that make the audience feel comfortable and to create story elements that are unique, Landers said. Familiarity seems to have its place in the screen arts, she said, but making it new continues to be the path to successful adaptations.

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