Semantic Technology May Help NIH In Its HealthCare Advancement Mission

ashoknareOcto Consulting, a technology solutions and management services company for both the intelligence and healthcare sectors, recently published an infographic exploring the intersection among the Semantic Web, Linked Data and Health IT as it relates to accessing and interacting with data from an array of sources in the healthcare chain. “Our point of view is that in healthcare there are multiple data sources and so much data – especially when it comes to clinical trials, pharmaceuticals research and scientific data,” says CTO Ashok Nare. “It’s very possible that each of those data elements is represented in a different format, so how to take them all and connect them to ask questions you aren’t able to ask otherwise. That’s where semantic technologies are extremely useful.”

One health-care sector project in which Octo is putting semantic technologies to use these days is an effort it has underway with the U.S.’s medical research agency, the National Institutes of  Health, whose mission includes providing grants to the scientific community to engage in research and experiments “to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability,”  as its web site explains. Now, not only does the NIH want to understand what it’s funding and how those grants are progressing, but also  “what opportunities it may be missing out on,” Nare explains.

That means continually assessing not only what’s in its portfolio but also what research gaps there are, which requires conducting analysis on more and more data sources and investigating more queries: That could mean more development and expense, without the help of semantic web technologies.

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Declara Lands $16M in Series A Investment

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PALO ALTO, Calif., April 23, 2014 – Declara, a company focused on developing technology for personal learning, today announced it has closed $16 million in Series A financing led by GSV Capital, with Data Collective, Founders Fund and Catamount Ventures joining the round. The new funding, unveiled at the annual GSV Education Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be used to scale operations globally and build out the team. As part of the investment, Mark Flynn, co-managing partner of GSV Asset Management, will join the Declara board.

 

[Read how Declara individualizes large-scale learning.]

 

Declara, founded in 2012, is based on the premise that learning happens not only in schools and universities but continues for a lifetime where people need to constantly hone their skills and master new ones. The company builds a technology platform that uses semantic search, predictive analytics and machine learning to surface the right content at the right time for individuals, making learning more personalized and discovery oriented. Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Shutterstock

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Shutterstock is searching for a Metadata Strategist in New York, NY. According to the post, “Shutterstock is looking for a metadata strategist to champion and lead metadata strategy, effectiveness, and standards in support of the findability of digital assets. We’re looking for a specialist who understands how to use language to optimize the value of digital media. Day-to-day responsibilities include: Drive revenue optimization initiatives through the discovery of key-insights into descriptive metadata eco-system dynamics. Define and lead the implementation of metadata strategies to scale digital assets discovery and sales conversion. Be the thought leader on introducing and exploring concepts around keyword methodologies, disambiguation techniques, ontologies/taxonomies, containment hierarchies, etc. Establish smart, semantic auto-mapping to create seamless integration and interoperability across multiple descriptive attributes, international languages and character sets.” Read more

Internet Hall of Fame Inductees on the Future of the Web

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Leonard Kleinrock of Wired reports, “[On Friday] in Hong Kong 24 new inductees were welcomed into the Internet Hall of Fame, which was launched by the Internet Society in 2012 to recognize individuals who have pushed the boundaries of technological and social innovation through the design and advancement of the global Internet. Because I was a member of the original inductee class, the Hall of Fame asked me to interview some of this year’s inductees about their visions for the future of the Internet, and what obstacles might stand in the way of these ideals. Hailing from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America, these inductees provided interesting insights into how the Internet is likely to evolve over the next decade in their corners of the globe, and what we as a global society need to do to prepare for the coming challenges of this evolution.” Read more

Augmented Reality Moving Forward in Leaps & Bounds

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Paul Mathai of Manufacturing.net recently wrote, “Over the last few years, augmented reality (AR) technology and its application have been progressing in leaps and bounds. A couple of years ago, the AR application patterns were broadly along the lines of: A pop-up virtual object on a 2D marker… What’s inside the box… A virtual fitting room…” etc. Mathai goes on, “The first wave was mostly exploratory in nature, and looking back, quite simple compared to the current applications trends. The early adoption was oriented towards wowing the customers in product marketing or familiarizing consumers on the product features or user training in field services… Technologically, AR evolved from simple 2D-marker-based, to geo-tagged and then to natural-marker-based platforms. And from the device perspective, it has evolved from mobile handhelds to eye-wearables like the Google Glass.” Read more

IBM’s Watson Group Invests In Fluid And Its Cognitive Assistant For Online Shoppers

watsonpixnwqEarlier this year The Semantic Web Blog covered the launch of the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit to create an ecosystem around Watson Cloud-delivered cognitive apps and services. One of the partners announced at that time was Fluid Inc., which is developing a personal shopper for ecommerce that leverages Watson. Today, the Watson Group is pushing that partnership forward by drawing from the $100 million that IBM has earmarked for direct investments in cognitive apps in order to invest in Fluid and in helping deliver what it says will be “the first-ever cognitive assistant for online shoppers into the marketplace.”

At the previous event in January, Fluid CEO Kent Deverell discussed and demonstrated the Expert Personal Shopper, now known as the Fluid Expert Shopper (XPS). Still in development, it takes advantage of Watson’s ability to understand the context of consumers’ questions in natural language, draw upon what it learns from users via its interactions with them, and match that against insights uncovered from huge amounts of data around a product or category – including a brand’s product information, user reviews and online expert publications — to deliver a personalized e-commerce shopping experience via desktops, tablets and smartphones.

The first Fluid XPS prototype is being developed for customer outdoor apparel and equipment retailer, The North Face, which Deverell showcased at the previous event.

At the IBM event in January, Deverell painted a picture of the difference between the experience consumers have with a great sales person vs. traditional ecommerce. Good salespeople, he said, “are personal, proactive conversational,” whereas e-commerce is data-driven. He told the audience at the event that Fluid wants to combine the best of both worlds. “A great sales associate makes you feel good about your purchase,” he said, and he envisions Fluid XPS doing the same through natural conversation, the ability to learn about the users’ needs, “to go as deep as you need to and resurface and provide relevant recommendations.”

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Semantic Web Jobs: Mayo Clinic

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The Mayo Clinic is looking for a Senior Ontologist in Rochester, MN. The post states that this position will “Provide leadership in the development, management and implementation of the Mayo Consumer Vocabulary to support navigation systems, search mechanisms, search engine optimization and personalized delivery of health information and services for Mayo Clinic Global Products and Services. Works collaboratively in cross functional teams to assess ontology needs to support product development across the department. Evaluates content domains, conducts content audits and analysis to inform the ongoing development of the Mayo Consumer Vocabulary. Supervises and directs ontology specialists and manages projects requiring substantial intra-organizational coordination.” Read more

New KDE Software Compilation Released with Improved Semantic Search

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According to a new article out of the organization, “The KDE Community is proud to announce the latest major updates to the KDE Applications delivering new features and fixes. Kontact (the personal information manager) has been the subject of intense activity, benefiting from the improvements to KDE’s Semantic Search technology and bringing new features. Document viewer Okular and advanced text editor Kate have gotten interface-related and feature improvements. In the education and game areas, we introduce the new foreign speech trainer Artikulate; Marble (the desktop globe) gets support for Sun, Moon, planets, bicycle routing and nautical miles. Palapeli (the jigsaw puzzle application) has leaped to unprecedented new dimensions and capabilities.” Read more

Artificial Intelligence Company Inbenta Receives $2M in Series A Funding

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Sunnyvale, CA (PRWEB) April 17, 2014 — Inbenta, the Semantic Search Engine provider, announces it has closed a $2M Series A funding from a group of investors led by “Amérigo Chile Early Stage and Growth”. Amerigo is an international network of technological Venture Capital funds which forms part of Telefónica’s commitment to boosting technological innovation around the world. Inbenta will use the funds to continue to scale out their A.I. based Semantic Search platform for enterprise customer care solutions while expanding operations worldwide. Read more

Thinknum Sees Financial Analysis In A New Light

thinknumpixThinknum is a startup with the mission: disrupting financial analysis.

In his work as a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi saw firsthand the trials and tribulations financial analysts went through to digest companies’ financial reports and then build their own research reports about their expectations for future performance based on past numbers. The U.S. SEC’s mandate that companies disclose their financial data using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) was supposed to help them, as well as investors of all stripes and sizes that want to better understand what’s going on at the companies they’re interested in.

“The SEC has mandated that all companies have to release their numbers in a machine-readable format, and that’s XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language),” says Ugwi. The positive side of that is that anyone can now get the stats on companies from Google to Wal-Mart, but the downside is that by and large, they can’t do it in a user-friendly way.

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