Sophia Search Limited

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Sophia Search Limited
Industry Software
Founded 2007
Founder Dave Patterson
Vladimir Dobrynin
Headquarters San Francisco, USA
Key people
Dave Patterson
Chris J Horn
Products Business Intelligence, Semantic Search, Discovery, and E-Commerce

Sophia’s ‘Ambiance™’ technology is an artificial intelligence (AI) based e-commerce solution that solves the problem of online ad blindness.

Ambiance™ uses sophisticated contextually aware content analytics to marry both sides of the e-commerce equation – enabling consumers to discover relevant products in real time and publishers and e-tailers to substantially increase revenues.

Through associating web content with products people want to buy, it eliminates the need to invade consumer privacy through tracking techniques and click-through rates are up to an order of magnitude greater than current industry standards.

Sophia is a venture backed company with offices in San Francisco, CA, Belfast, Northern Ireland & St. Petersburg, Russia.


Sophia began life as a campus company in the University of Ulster and Saint Petersburg State University currently maintaining offices in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and San Jose, California. It also has an R&D base in St Petersburg, Russia. It is privately funded; having raised the largest ever private investment round, via an Angel Investor(s), in Northern Ireland history.

The name Sophia is taken from the Greek word for Wisdom


The Company's mission is to deliver the world’s ultimate Ambient Commerce Platform, and herald a step change for e-commerce and digital content monetization


Its core product, the Sophia Digital Librarian, automatically enriches each document with semantic metadata (such as Topic, concepts, document tags & semantic tags). This Metadata can then be leveraged by other tools, such as search and content management systems, to radically improve the findability of information. The tool has a key focus on discovery of new information. The Sophia Digital Librarian does not rely on Taxonomies, ontologies, thesauri or any type of background knowledge nor does it require any training. It is built on a model of Linguistics called Semiotics, which explains how humans understand the meaning of signs, symbols and text.

This knowledge can be used to in conjunction with existing search tools, such as MS FAST, Google Search Appliance and Lucene/Solr to search semantically and to significantly improve the findability of indexed content. It can also be used to enrich content held within Content Management Systems (CMS) such as SharePoint, Documentum, and MarkLogic.


The company has won a number of awards for its products including:


  1. Semantic Tagging: OpenCalais and Sophia – Chrisjhorn's Blog 12 September 2011
  2. Trend-Setting Products of 2011 – KMWorld 1 September 2011
  3. Belfast search firm invited onto global IBM program – Silicon Republic 26 July 2011
  4. Sophia – Core Engine 1.0 – IBM 27 April 2011
  5. KMWorld 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management – KMWorld 1 March 2011
  6. Global Entrepreneur Program – IBM Webshpere cloudburst 18 February 2011
  7. A thoughtful search engine – Chrisjhorn's Blog 12 February 2011
  8. Halo score largest angel investment and first Northern Ireland syndicate – British Business Angel Association 22 September 2010
  9. KMWorld Trend-Setting Products of 2010 – KMWorld 1 September 2010
  10. University to Business – Tim Brundle Director of Innovation Spring 2010
  11. Spin-out company wins top business award – The Ulster Graduate Spring 2010
  12. Belfast Company Clinches Seedcorn Regional Winner Prize – Belfast Telegraph 13 November 2009
  13. Angel investors enable Search to pursue the American dream – Belfast Telegraph 5 July 2010
  14. University of Ulster team lift prize at 25k Awards – Belfast Telegraph 22 October 2007
  15. Sophia Search at a glanceInterTradeIreland
  16. InterTradeIreland – Wikipedia

External links[edit]


  1. Semiotics for enterprise search – KMWorld 28 May 2011
  2. Sophia – finding the needle in the company haystack – Ulster Business 9 April 2011
  3. Organizing the unknown – applying taxonomy to discovery through Sophia Search – Earley & Associates 31 March 2011
  4. An Interview with David Patterson – Arnold IT 1 March 2011
  5. Three-dimensional search – KMWorld 27 October 2010
  6. New solution empowers organizations to intelligently discover knowledge from unstructured content for efficient discovery, recovery, consolidation and use while reducing the cost of managing information – Marketwire 22 September 2010
  7. Discover your unstructured content – discovery is a priority! – CMS Wire 22 September 2010
  8. Artificial Intelligence added to medloom clinical decision support system built on interSystems CACHÉ database – Marketwire 22 June 2010
  9. Innovation Nation – Ulster Business 19 January 2010
  10. Don’t just Search your Information, Understand it! – University of Ulster Autumn 2009