Programming Together for 25 Years
Amnon Meyers and David de Hilster met in 1990, working together at the Artificial Intelligence lab of McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) in Huntington Beach, California. Amnon was working on LISP machines (specialized AI computers) developing VOX, an extensible natural language processing system, and David reengineered the code in the C++ programming language. That is when text-based analysis and hierarchical knowledge bases merged with multi-pass pattern matching, and when a pioneering Natural Language Engineering partnership was launched.
Amnon and David developed robust and accurate text analytic systems that were quick and easy to customize, and showcased these at the Message Understanding Conference (MUC) sponsored by DARPA throughout the 1990s. The dynamic duo placed 3rd overall (MUC-3 scoring as finalized in MUC-4) having only spent 3 months on the project, while competitors poured man-years into their efforts.
In 1998, Amnon helped found Text Analysis International, joined by David soon after. The two engineered NLP++, Conceptual Grammar, Automated Rule Generation (RUG), and a multi-pass NLP framework into a development platform, dubbed VisualText. For more than 15 years, TAI has been working with companies world-wide to supply text analytics.
NLP++ is text-based, just like HTML, PHP, and Perl, and supports feedback among all phases of text analysis (lexical, syntax, meaning, html, etc). The modular, pass-by-pass analysis framework of NLP++ yields efficient and accurate text analytics, readily maintained and enhanced by programmers, even without formal linguistic and NLP training.