We’ve used machine learning to analyze 1,500+ press releases from major public and private organizations, and to reveal what is driving their innovation.

TORONTO, ON, October 03, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — It has become commonplace for businesses and public institutions to include innovation as part of their values. While the use of the word indicates a willingness to break the status quo, nowadays it is used in every possible context and does not provide much information about the culture and mission of a given organization.

To find out what sorts of meaning innovation can have, Plural, an international think tank dedicated to the pluralism of ideas, has used machine-learning technologies to analyze more than 1,500 press releases from some of the most innovative companies in the world, as well as a number of public institutions that play an important role in the field. In its latest report, it has identified the words most closely related to innovation for each organization, along with their neighbouring terms.

Technology, development, creative, and design were, unsurprisingly, the terms used in most organizations to talk about innovation, and thus do not convey information about them. Less prominent and more distinctive terms used to refer innovation are leveraging, as detected by the algorithm when reviewing Google press releases,(*a) and marketplace, used frequently in Amazon’s press room.(*b) The same heuristics were used to gain a better understanding of the context in which these words were used. For instance, cloud-based, expertise, googler, and apis were produced by the algorithm when searching for words related to leveraging in Google’s press releases.

In the public sector, interdisciplinary was the noteworthy term detected in press releases from the University of Cambridge(*c) on the subject of innovation, along with its close relation to humanities, cutting-edge, biomedical, academic, and biology. Another example is cultural, frequently used in the Digital Economy & Society section of the European Commission website,(*d) along with the words heritage, social, intellectual, and society.

Similar techniques could help demystify innovation and understand what is distinct in each organization’s approach. Furthermore, they could foster creativeness and encourage new types of partnerships.

Christophe Bruchansky, Plural’s founder, says “Our mission at Plural is to promote choice, diversity of opinions and thoughts. When we see a situation where things are not as diverse as they could be, we try to understand why and to suggest remedies. In this instance, we believe that the use of buzzwords and catchphrases is preventing the emergence of bigger ideas and more meaningful innovation. We hope that our approach will encourage public and private organizations to look at their innovation in a different way, and to identify some of its unique features.”

Read the full analysis

(*a) Source: https://www.blog.google/, 100 press releases analyzed, Time period: Aug 23, 2017 – Sep 22, 2017.
(*b) Source: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-news&nyo=0, 155 press releases analyzed, Time period: 2017.
(*c) Source: https://www.cam.ac.uk/news, 100 press releases analyzed, Time period: Jun 21, 2017 – Sep 22, 2017.
(*d) Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/search-result.htm?page=1&subQuery=47&format=HT … &locale=EN, 100 press releases analyzed (“Digital Economy & Society” section), Time Period: May 10, 2017 – Sep 19, 2017.

Plural is an international think tank dedicated to the pluralism of ideas and diversity of opinion and choices.

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