IBM and AlchemyAPI Announce AlchemyData News API

IBM and AlchemyAPI have announced the general release of the AlchemyData News API, a new API that provides access to an AI enriched, curated dataset of news and blog content. The AlchemyData News API is one of the most recent services added to the Watson Developer Cloud. IBM recently acquired AlchemyAPI which has allowed IBM Watson to leverage AlchemyAPI's deep learning and knowledge graph technologies. Utilizing AlchemyAPI technologies helps increase Watson’s ability to analyze and understand high volumes of complex data from many diverse sources.


The AlchemyData News API provides programmatic access to a curated dataset of news and blog content collected from 75,000 unique sources. Over 250,000 news and blog posts are indexed daily by the platform and 60 days of historical data access is provided. The news and blog post content provided by the AlchemyData News API is enhanced using AlchemyAPI’s deep learning NLP APIs. This allows developers to build cognitive news data-driven apps that perform highly targeted searches, trend analysis, brand monitoring, signal detection and more.

We reached out to Pawan Lakshmanan, lead engineer for AlchemyData, who provided some insight into the AlchemyData News API. Lakshmanan explained to ProgrammableWeb that the company does not rely on third-party providers/aggregators to obtain its data. "AlchemyAPI directly crawls more than 75,000 websites and monitors hundreds of thousands of news feeds. All this data is enriched using natural language processing algorithms, indexed, and stored in the AlchemyData platform which is our proprietary analytics data store," said Lakshmanan.

The AlchemyData News API leverages a custom-built, proprietary "knowledge graph" developed by AlchemyAPI. AlchemyAPI’s knowledge graph is used by many of the services provided by the company including the AlchemyVision Face Detection and Recognition API. This API uses the knowledge graph to recognize and identify the faces of celebrities in photos and returns information about them including their name, gender, website, linked data (dbpedia, freebase, yago), and knowledge graph hierarchy. An example of knowledge graph hierarchy would be /people/celebrities/ian somerhalder with subtypes of person, actor, film actor, and TV actor.

Lakshmanan explained to ProgrammableWeb that "All the entities, concepts, keywords that we find in the news articles are enriched with their associated knowledge graph in AlchemyData News. The power of this feature is best illustrated with an example."

Lakshmanan explained further, using a news article with the title "BlackBerry Leap Launching in India Next Week" as an example:

  • "Blackberry Leap" is extracted as an entity of type product.
  • In addition, it gets marked up with a knowledge graph of "/devices/mobile devices/smartphones/blackberry/blackberry leap."
  • Because this knowlege graph is hierarchical, it allows our customers to narrow or widen their search net by either going down or up the levels. For example, a search for "/devices/mobile devices" will give you all news articles about all mobile devices while a search for "/devices/mobile devices/smartphones/blackberry" will narrow the search to only blackberry smartphone news articles.

At the time of this writing, AlchemyData News only indexes English language news and blog posts. Lakshmanan told ProgrammableWeb that "we plan on continually expanding news sources, coverage, and depth of our index. However, our current focus is on improving English-language source coverage. We'll keep you updated on our plans for other languages."

"The real value behind the News API lies in the NLP enrichments that are baked into the news that will help customers build intelligent news apps without having to do a lot of heavy lifting themselves," said Lakshmanan. "The query gallery in our docs help to showcase the powerful insights that are possible with a NLP enriched news data store."

AlchemyAPI founder and CEO Elliot Turner told ProgrammableWeb that:

"AlchemyData represents a different way of leveraging the world's news. We've been performing keyword searches for years now.... reading documents... using aggregator platforms... AlchemyData is different. Baked-in NLP enrichments, trend analysis, advanced query capabilities -- these things weren't possible before. And, they're just the beginning. Future AlchemyData releases will offer more advanced data mining capabilities. We're enabling developers to build apps and services that understand and react to world events, identify trends, detect anomalies, and more."

For more information about the AlchemyData News API, visit the official product website. The AlchemyData News API is also available via the IBM Watson Developer Cloud. Learn more about IBM Watson services for developers on the IBM website.

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