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Ballston Tech Startup Works to Fight Forgetting

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

(Updated 1 p.m.)In a groundbreaking 1885 paper, Hermann Ebbinghaus coined the idea of a learning curve. But there was a second part of the paper that tends to get forgotten: a “forgetting curve” of exponential loss of information over time.

That’s where Blank Slate Technologies, a startup based out of Ballston, comes in. Blank Slate Technologies offers learning programs aimed at improving recall weeks, months, or even years after the initial training.

The program assesses the difficulty of various lessons and the time since training to target refreshers only at times where that information is likely to have hit the “forgetting curve.”

Alex Hasslacher, director of sales at Blank Slate Technologies, said the founding team knew each other at Boston University and this was a common interest. The company was founded a little over one year ago.

“It’s an old idea with new technology,” said Hasslacher.

The company’s app has trivia questions on flashcards with multiple answers. An algorithm relies on user feedback to identify which information people are most likely to forget, and when, and then the program asks questions surrounding those subjects.

Professionals from Blank Slate Technologies assist the companies or organizations using the software to design the content for the program and supply data analytics to provide information on training.

Any audio, video or image can be worked into the system, meaning the program isn’t limited by language barriers. Hasslacher said the technology is flexible; he sees it being useful in corporate or education cultures, in everything from elementary school to MBA-level programs.

Hasslacher said the company works on a monthly subscription, usually for at least one year. Costs vary on the size of the organization using the program.

Photo via Blank Slate Technologies

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