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Adolfo Santoro, CEO
Every organisation needs to process physical documents—typed or handwritten text—in a timely manner. But, completing the process manually is both time-consuming and error-prone, which is why automated document processing systems are becoming a commonplace in many firms. Although there are automatic document capture solutions in place to solve these issues, they are only viable for well-structured and machine-printed text. To date, automation has not been fully and effectively applied to capture information from handwritten drafts. Italy-based Natural Intelligent Technologies (N.I.Te) is changing this status quo with its range of innovative solutions that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for automated document processing, especially for handwritten documents and static images. N.I.Te was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Salerno, located in Italy. Researchers and electronics engineers of the University’s Natural Computational Lab dedicated over 20 years to develop a patented technology for automatically reading cursive, handwritten documents.
“Our AI technology can accurately read handwritten words without a lexicon during the learning stages,” states Adolfo Santoro, CEO of N.I.Te. Another important advantage of this AI algorithm is its capability to learn from a reduced data set of training samples, which makes N.I.Te’s solutions convenient for small and medium companies as well. N.I.Te’s products include Masquerade, a proprietary software that analyses and evaluates the morphological and dynamic features of handwriting. Masquerade is designed to help handwriting experts automatically measure handwriting features and reduce the time needed to produce an accurate handwriting analysis report. For extracting information from digitally-archived handwritten text, N.I.Te offers its proprietary software, ApPost.
We build reading machines with AI algorithms
The software is able to automatically process both structured and unstructured documents by not just deciphering numeric and alphabetic scripts but also longhand writing.
Currently, N.I.Te is in the advanced stages of developing a software called HandBiblio for indexing handwritten documents in digital archives that can be retrieved seamlessly through a simple search. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. “Similar to a search engine, the software can provide relevant matches to a keyword from within a digital archive,” explains Santoro. Like any other N.I.Te product, even HandBiblio can learn from a reduced dataset sample and obtain results in a short amount of time. This software is particularly recommended for libraries, legal firms, private companies, and academic institutions that need to manage their digital heritage.
Today, various industries— including banking, insurance, and the postal sector to name a few— are riding on N.I.Te’s coat tails to successfully transcribe handwritten text or search for specific elements in their documents. Among the various clients that have benefitted from N.I.Te’s solutions, Santoro mentions the case of a Switzerland-based postal automation company that was able to enhance their existing order processing process with N.I.Te’s automatic document processing technology. With the help of N.I.Te, the company was able to recognize and analyse handwritten text and images accurately, eliminating the need for manual intervention. This solution was used to extract handwritten addresses on parcels and other shipping items so that it could be dispatched quicker.
N.I.Te, by far, has the most advanced reading analysis software. Along with new products in the development pipeline, the company also plans to expand its reach in the European region and eventually capture the global market by partnering with software system integrators and resellers. Santoro believes that N.I.Te’s competitive advantage lies in offering highly-scalable solutions that can also be implemented in a short amount of time and are capable of seamlessly integrating with a client’s existing system. Dedicated to innovation, N.I.Te’s vision is to make the knowledge contained in handwritten documents across the world available and searchable through a digital system.