Scoffing at Autonomy

From: CorporateInfo (
Subject: Expert scoffs at Autonomy software
View: (This is the only article in this thread) | Original Format
Date: 2001-08-23 21:49:53 PST

At Genentech headquarters today in South San Francisco, there was a
seminar on “Metadata & Controlled Vocabularies: What Are they and What
is their Value?” given by Amy Warner, faculty member in Information
Architecture at UMichigan, Genentech’s consultant on taxonomy creation
and a well-known corporate consultant on information technology. Dr.
Warner had a final slide with “Autonomy”and “Semio” written on it, and
here’s what she said:

“I always get asked, aren’t there automated tools to build
taxonomies? There is some ‘Hiearchy Generation Software’ available,
but it generally relies on the principal of Collocation, not
aboutness, which is preferable. Collocation simply means statistical
clustering. Two examples are Autonomy and Semio. Beware of these.
They don’t work very well. They make many promises, but Collocation
only works some of the time. I shouldn’t bash, but I haven’t talked
to a company yet that likes Autonomy, including those that have bought
it. In many cases they are overselling their product.”

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