Meet Alexa, your new AI assistant

Amazon announced it was releasing Echo, an intelligent voice-activated assistant, to the general public. Scredible CEO Colin Lucas-Mudd is an avid technology early adopter, and frequent Beta-tester. We sat down with him to get his thoughts on the beta version, and where he sees the product evolving in the future.

“It’s been interesting to see, or should I say ‘listen to’, the evolution of the Echo over the past month—mine arrived after a six-month wait on May 21st; long enough for me to forget that I’d been offered one of the early ‘geek’ specials. From the outset, the speech pick up and ‘understanding’ was excellent.

The background noise discrimination and understanding was, and remains, exceptional—putting Siri, Google, et al., to shame. ‘Eric’, our pet name (Amazon, when will you update the firmware to allow ‘Alexa’ to be changed?), has zero difficulty switching on the fly between my English, and my wife’s American accents and vocabulary.

It is clear that there are some genuine heuristic elements at play here, with good machine learning algorithms… And getting better. The main problem is Amazon’s bifurcation and/or ‘genie-out-of-the-box’ problem: “Alexa, what is the best online price for a Canon 200mm f4 IS lens?”. Interestingly, with certain similar questions the answer does appear in the linked IOS app, but not all. Echo certainly does not answer.

On the linked app itself, this is still ‘pre-beta’ to be frank. However, it’s improving, and the possibilities are there for all to see. At $99 it was little more than a simple curiosity. As the calendar and other features come in, I can see it being worth $179 shortly. In the future, and assuming Amazon continues to invest in the real potential, it will transcend a geek toy and become a really valuable tool.”

With such potential, one can assume we will hear Alexa’s voice reverberating off Scredible’s virtual office walls in the not too distant future.

Full article: CIO Today – Amazon Unleashes AI Assistant Echo for All

British professionals fall behind U.S in recognising social media potential

Survey of 1000 working professionals uncovers several major barriers to the use of social media at work and shows that Americans are quicker to see the benefits of being active online

DUBLIN – 16 June, 2015 – A new survey of 1,000 professionals published today by Scredible – developer of socially driven education technologies – shows that nearly half (47%) of UK professionals believe there is too much useless content on social media.

The study, which surveyed fully-employed professionals aged between 20 and 45 also finds that around a quarter of Brits (26%) think there is too much spam on social media. 29% simply do not have time to post during the working day. A further 19% are worried about what their employers might think of their social media profiles, including how what they share might be judged.

Full-size infographic:

Full-size infographic:

Colin Lucas-Mudd, Chief Executive Officer at Scredible plc, says: “In the UK, our research shows major barriers preventing businesses benefitting from professionals’ use of social media at work. Many UK workers share concerns over how hard it is to find good content, the time required to sift through spam, and worries their employers’ perception of using social media. As social media rapidly moves into the #1 slot, both as a marketing and support tool, this is a disaster in the making in terms of global competitiveness. Further, as it becomes more important than ever for professionals to fully understand ‘social’ as a learning and development tool, educational opportunities are being lost and career prospects dimmed.

“The UK stands out as a world leader in the creative arts, as well as the knowledge and digital economies. However, the negative perceptions of social media demonstrated by this survey will ultimately put this position at risk.”

The results show that social media service providers need to improve their offers and educate UK business stakeholders better. Many British professionals view it as an entertainment rather than business resource with 68% of respondents believing social media is most useful for keeping in touch with friends. A significant proportion (38%) believe that social media is a ‘distraction’ that should be banned at work.

The survey reveals a stark contrast between U.K. with U.S professionals, the latter of whom are more favourable towards using social media in a business environment. Some 61% of Americans recognise that social media will be important for their careers in 5 years’ time, compared with only 39% of Brits.

Lucas-Mudd continues: “The UK is renowned globally for its creative, digital industries; but history demonstrates that we often fail to exploit the enormous commercial, development, and educational opportunities presented by a more connected world. Businesses and individuals that are quickest to recognise the benefits of an active social profile will get ahead of the competition. More awareness is needed everywhere, but we Brits can certainly learn from the U.S in this regard. Something we need to do quickly if we’re to remain competitive.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

·       Only 3% think social media currently provides useful, educational content

·       Only 5% believe that social media is most useful researching

·       3% think its most useful for finding a job

·       11% of respondents think employees can damage a company’s reputation through using social media

To find out more about Scredible, visit the website at or download from the Apple App store or on Google Play.

Article originally appeared on BusinessWire
Full-size infographic for download

Fixing the digital skills gap

Article originally appeared in Thales Learning & Development, Enhance June/July 2015.
TLD - article image

Photo credit: Thales Learning & Development, Enhance June/July 2015.

Industry Expert Q&A

We spoke to Colin Lucas-Mudd, founder and CEO of Scredible, to find out why his technology and education platform is catching people’s attention and talk about the growing digital skills gap.

What does Scredible do?

It helps business professionals acquire information and knowledge. You tell the Scredible app your goals, interests, and areas of expertise, and it looks at the aggregate data on you and others with similar goals. The aggregate data enables the application to deliver content and trend lines that are calculated to be most valuable for any given goal.

The more you use Scredible, the more accurate it gets. It is learning with you, and finding out what you don’t know… but perhaps should.  Ultimately it will predict what you should be learning next in order to attain your professional goals. Unlike news readers that deliver ‘popular’ stories, Scredible returns a deep vein of relevant, validated content from credible sources, helping professionals build their reputation online.

How does this type of app differ from, say,  a MOOC?

MOOCs have been a boon for auto-didactic self-starters and/or the economically disadvantaged. The key problem is that MOOCs, for the most part, simply apply legacy fundamentals using technological tools for delivery—they’ve not improved on traditional classroom education in any way that would make the much-needed difference.  They haven’t solved for the “telling ain’t training” problem – a problem that is amplified for time-crunched professionals.  It doesn’t matter how good the teacher is if the course material isn’t developed around the specific knowledge gaps of the student.

We are at a fascinating point in time when our global culture has reorganised around a new central hub—our mobile phone. And while the MOOC approach can never fill specific holes in a student’s knowledge, an app on a phone, driven by machine learning ‘AI’ that continuously learns from the student, can analyse – just as a great teacher would – what a student doesn’t know and then fill the gaps. This makes the learning quicker and more satisfying.

We are frequently hearing about the growing digital skills gap. What do you think is driving that?

Society is changing at an accelerating pace, as the world population grows and gains access to the cloud and connectivity tools. At the same time it is clear that the desirable and long-term rewarding jobs and careers will require a new, and ever-changing, advanced skillset—a skillset that is failing to keep pace with the knowledge economy—and the need.  In combination, these trends have combined into a volatile cocktail of uncertainty that will continue for our lifespan and beyond.

The only job security and career advancement opportunities in the knowledge economy will come to those who develop critical thinking skills around their field of interest. Skills that will be even more valuable as machine learning and AI take over many “thinking” roles. Unfortunately, in too many instances, governments, universities, and businesses are doing a less than optimal job of closing the gap between yesterday’s dogma and tomorrow’s practical skills requirements. Part of the problem lies with the way governments set the agenda, responding to today’s opinion polls rather than tomorrow’s needs to drive learning and progress.

Society is changing, the world population is growing, and there are fewer and fewer jobs for people to do.Click To Tweet

Are there any particular areas of concern?

Social business and socially equitable business is good business. This message has finally gained a hearing in the boardroom.  Unfortunately, a recent survey by Cap Gemini Consulting found that while 50% of companies see mobile as one of the two most important skills for digital transformation, 80% face a talent shortage there.

And it gets worse. In another survey of U.S. executives, 85% say they are planning Big Data initiatives but only 21% rate their company’s analytics capabilities as “more than adequate.”  Other surveys of top executives in enterprises with 50,000+ employees are even more disconcerting: Only 13% describe their social media efforts as ‘advanced’ and more than 50% say they lack basic social business skills.

It’s time for this to change.

Feature Spotlight: Relevancy

Scredible’s relevancy filter is aimed at helping you zero in on what matters most, while giving you the option to find new and surprising sources of industry insights, features and opinions from around the world.

On your desktop Scredible you’ll find the filter at the top right:

Scredible bot filter

Relevancy filter on desktop version of Scredible.


On the app, you’ll find it at the bottom of the screeen:


Scredible app - relevancy filter

Relevancy filter box on mobile app.


To use the filter, go into ‘Read’ and click/tap on the filter icon and slide the bar along the line. When you first build a bot, the relevancy filter is usually set to the midway point. If you slide it down to the lowest number of articles these will narrow down the results to the secondary category level you chose when building your Bot.

However, if you put the filter up to all the possible articles, your Bot will deliver a multitude of opinions, insights and features from the top level category you chose while building your Bot.

Exploring this feature gives you the opportunity to fine tune the results to your own preferences.



The good, the bad and the useless: What makes a worthwhile piece of online content?

For any content producing site, be it a national newspaper or a blog about turtle-breeding, ‘sticky’ content is the Holy Grail. This is content that both attracts eyeballs, and more importantly, ups repeat visitors. Yet a singular problem remains. Without a hawkish eye for quality, good content can easily be lost in the 27,000 GigaBytes (give or take) of internet traffic generated every second of every day.

People don’t have time for low quality content and they’ll certainly avoid repeat visits anywhere they find it. At Scredible, we are obsessed with good content, which is why we’re designing our app to be similarly ‘choosy’.

As you might imagine, that’s easier said than done. The challenge comes in ‘teaching’ an AI system to learn the difference between good and bad content, in the same way a person would – selecting what’s new and interesting out of the myriad of sites regurgitating identikit articles.

For any aspiring content producers keen to create articles that will cut through the noise, here are some of the benchmarks to determine ‘quality’ content:


A quote that comes to mind time and again is: “A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” It’s from The Truth, Terry Pratchett’s satire on the newspaper industry. In an age when people source their content socially, this has never been truer.

Like any journalist or sceptical reader, it is important to consider the source: are articles generally well written; does the site publish regularly; is there more than one writer (one-writer blogs have to produce output that’s significantly high-quality); does the site have a good reputation; and does it have a bias that muddies the validity of what is being published? Good content can come from anywhere, but sites which work hard to build their track record are more likely to get read.


We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover, but a poorly designed website rings alarm bells for both humans and machines. If the navigation is difficult, articles are badly edited or tagged, or if it actually hurts the eyes to look at, it’s unlikely to get past our filter.

Niche websites may not have the slick design of the big title magazines and newspapers, but if they fulfil the primary role of providing credible content that’s insightful and industry specific, and at least look neat and have ‘tied their laces’, they are more likely to appeal to readers.


Asking how long a ‘good’ article should be is a bit like asking how long a piece of string should be. A good article can be 300 words or 1,500. The important factor is that the length does justice to the subject matter. Certain topics, such as academic reviews, ‘how to guides’ and political thought pieces will be better suited to long articles, where image-heavy listicle articles will be scored highly despite being light on word count. At any length, the cardinal sin is padding. Internet users are used to being able to digest quickly and move on, so adding unnecessary words can be a killer.

Asking how long a ‘good’ article should be is a bit like asking how long a piece of string should be. Click To Tweet


Some of the worst culprits for padded articles are those reeking of a desperation to optimise their SEO. Even if readers don’t spot the tell-tale signs at first, the highly repetitive use of the same phrase or keyword can wear users down and leave them dissatisfied. Content producers need to ask: What use is a strong SEO score, if once the reader gets to the article, they’re put off? An article that is well written is going to attract more visitors and wider attention for a website.

Being counterintuitive

This can also be called ‘having the element of surprise.’ Really great articles are those that provide a different angle on a known subject and present completely new ideas and discoveries that can educate and inform. A lot of online content doesn’t actually add anything new to conversations or simply states the obvious. Content that surprises and offers a new angle is what will excite and engage readers.

This article originally appeared in Digital Marketing Magazine.

Scredible launches knowledge-building social app for iOS and Android

[15 May 2015] Scredible plc, a developer of socially driven education technologies, is pleased to announce the launch of the mobile versions of its education and knowledge-building platform, Scredible; now approved and available for iOS and Android.

Scredible is the answer to an increasingly cluttered digital landscape, offering a one-stop platform for users to learn, know, and grow their presence and impact online.

Over the past two years, Scredible plc has been breaking new ground by combining next-generation professional skills and talent development tools with advanced education technologies. The company’s sophisticated, AI-driven, contextual content and social context platform is designed to learn from a user’s engagement, from their likes and dislikes, and then identify gaps in knowledge for future use in programs designed to improve users’ learning efficiency and social experience. This process improves over time as a continuous and predictive feedback protocol intelligently adapts to changing goals as the AI ‘evolves’.

Simply put, the Scredible app is designed to provide a faster, smarter way for users to discover new content and trends, to understand what they need to know, and ultimately to predict what users should know next to achieve their goals.

Download the Scredible app for iOS and Android To Tweet

The machine learning technologies underpinning Scredible’s app evaluate the strength of news and other online content, applying systems that counteract the cookie-driven skew prevalent in many online searches. This enables the platform to assess whether the delivered content matches with individual user’s selected criteria by combining factors such as the quality of the source, the author, keywords, sentence structure, and context. The app has been designed to intelligently weed out the weak, underwritten, or ‘over-optimized’ articles that clutter most social feeds.

The Scredible platform provides an easy to use tool that empowers a more connected digital life.  The app combines multiple functions to perform a wide range of tasks:

·       Finds content: Scredible scours the web for real-time contextual information, content, and news – all while figuring out what you need and ignoring what you don’t.

·       Helps you research and stay on top of important topics: Scredible allows you to navigate by topic, author, and publication to get a 360 degree view of any subject, building a clear view of trending and current topics, each vital for individual users’ to meet their goals.

·       Gets to know you: Scredible learns from your goals and habits to source content that is both relevant and useful. The accumulated knowledge enables the platform to identify gaps, then source and present new, trending, and timely material in real time.

·       Helps you write: Scredible makes building social authority and followers easier. It scans content to provide ready to use posts, synopses, and comments that make sharing quality content easier.

·       Helps you learn: Scredible lets you see how many likes, shares, hashtags, keywords, and clicks your posts have generated every day, week, month, and year, providing a clear view of areas for future focus.

Colin Lucas-Mudd, CEO of Scredible plc, says: “A strong digital footprint is becoming ever more crucial for professional success in all sectors. Users are drowning in content, and every day the problem of separating the signal from the noise gets worse. 500 million tweets are posted every day on Twitter and 30 billion pieces of content are shared every month on Facebook. Irrespective of the breadth of any individual’s needs, it’s no longer possible to keep one’s finger on the pulse, nor to generate timely comments and posts, without the application of today’s advanced technologies.”

Users are drowning in content, and every day the problem of separating the signal from the noise gets worse. - Colin Lucas-MuddClick To Tweet

“Scredible focuses on what’s important to meet goals, scouring the web for the most credible, useful, inspiring content, specifically targeted to each individual users’ needs, then leverages the power of the evolving cloud and machine learning technologies to deliver both information and knowledge to meet those needs.”

Lucas-Mudd concludes: “With the individual and corporate testing and analysis phase completed, we are excited to be introducing the freely available version of Scredible mobile and web to the wider market. By providing broad access to a developing intelligent learning social development suite, we anticipate being at the centre of the inevitable shift in education methods and technologies as machine learning evolves into true artificial intelligence.”

Video Tips: How to build a Bot

Learn how to create a Scredible Bot to personalize the articles you want it to find for you.


Overcoming social media paralysis to boost your career


Scredible social media spectrum image

Where are you on the social medium spectrum?

In today’s era of social media there are so many people that are not on it yet, while others are thriving and experiencing one success after the other. Why?

The first group is often coming from a space of fear or concern, thinking social media will go away. They try to stay away from it or at least postpone as much as possible. Social media illiteracy paralyses them, so they decide to do nothing. Or they claim to be ignorant. They are afraid of making mistakes. Is it generally allowed to post something on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Some people even hate social media, but still insist on looking good online. They do not understand the corporate social media policy or want to play it on the extreme safe side. Continue reading →

Feature Spotlight: Notebook

There is a little known tool in Scredible that’s really helpful. Look down the menu bar and you’ll see Notebook. If you click on it you’ll probably not see anything. This is because you haven’t had chance to use the feature yet, or haven’t really known what it was for.

The Notebook stores snippets of articles you’ve found interesting, noteworthy even, and copied to go into your Notebook. Continue reading →

Feature Spotlight: Streams

Your Scredible Stream is a highly flexible way of curating social media posts, articles of interest, and your own writing, in one space. The flexibility comes from being able to choose exactly what appears in your Stream. This gives visitors to your stream a controlled perspective into your professional and personal interests.

Firstly, you can build a Stream by clicking on the Stream icon on the menu bar. This opens the Streams page. If you have an account that allows more than one stream, you can manage all of them from here.

curate your scredible life through the streams page

Manage your Stream(s) through the Streams page

Using the Stream builder, you can use ready-made images or your own images, for the background and your avatar. You can also decide whether you want to have all your social media post on your Stream, as well as your own writing and articles you want to curate on your Stream.

Continue reading →