Event Updates

Improving Relevancy With AI and ML

For over 15 years, NextBrick has worked to improve performance tuning, relevancy tuning, and load balancing in enterprise search and ecommerce search solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Customers such CVS, Verizon, Northwell Health and Fox have turned to the NextBrick team to implement search applications. 

NextBrick has made huge strides in search relevance for customers by migrating complex legacy search applications like Endeca to Lucidworks Fusion and Solr. We spoke with Vice President Shrey Narayan on how NextBrick is using AI and machine learning to extract meaning from data.

Why is search important at NextBrick?

Initially, search was simply matching keywords with documents that contained those keywords, but that’s no longer the only use case. Now, search is used to solve problems. Users might be searching to book a flight, buy something, find an Italian restaurant nearby, browse photos, answer a query, etc.

NextBrick is focused on delivering search solutions to clients. We understand that when a user starts a search, they're actually starting a journey. We create solutions to make this journey easy.

How is the search team at NextBrick growing? (if you'd like to talk about recruiting opportunities)

NextBrick continuously adds people to our search team in order to create the best solutions for our clients within scope and on schedule. We are looking for people with expertise not only in Solr, but also in Lucidworks Fusion and other AI and CMS and big data technologies. 

Besides tech expertise, we are also looking for people from ecommerce, healthcare, and banking verticals to cater to our clients’ needs. 

Modern solutions are not limited to one technology. It is important to understand the nature of the changing landscape and adapt accordingly. With the use of AI and ML across tech domains, the search space doesn't remain unaffected and must evolve. NextBrick is not only delving into the search space, we are setting up a team of Big Data, ML, and AI professionals who can facilitate and enhance the search experience.

Tell us about search-related innovations that you have implemented.

We are currently developing a solution to better understand a query’s intent. For example, if a user typed "samsung mobile under $500 with 64GB RAM," then our solution should know that the user is looking for 'mobile' as productType, 'samsung' as brand, price should be less than $500, and RAM size should be 64GB. We are leveraging NLP tools with Machine Learning to develop this solution.

What new technologies are you most excited about?

AI, ML, and NLP.

Can you tell us your plans, if any, to implement AI technologies?

We want to apply AI/ML to all aspects of search, from understanding query intent to product recommendations. 

NextBrick is developing a solution that extracts information from raw data and adds it to related fields in the document. One of our clients has data such as ‘OZ-G SR-50-500 CONNECTOR, CORD; BLUE; 1/2" HUB’ and they want to extract blue as the color, 1/2" as the size, and use this to improve their search. We found a lot of various scenarios like these that can be handled by developing solution using AI & ML.

How do you engage with and support the open source community?

We engage with them via JIRA issues that we find while implementing our use cases. Simultaneously, we help developers on online forums with issues and fixes that we are aware of. It is the onus of all developers to collectively make technologies more reliable and community friendly.

What are you excited to learn about at ACTIVATE this year?  

AI, ML, and data science as well as chatbots and virtual assistants are the key items we are excited to learn about at ACTIVATE this year. We believe consumers standards and expectations are shifting toward fast, intelligent bots to quickly resolve their issue, rather than relying on long complicated phone calls and other complicated web help. Intelligent chatbots that have user friendly features, easy dialogue flow frameworks, advanced AI and NLP powered querying and analytics capabilities will drive the fields of conversational AI and interactive commerce and support.

Want to hear more? Come to NextBrick’s talk “Search Migration With Improved Relevance” with Vice President Shrey Narayan and Director Engineering Search Hemant Verma at ACTIVATE. 

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