Jennifer Zaino

Web Components: Even Better With Semantic Markup

W3C LogoThe W3C’s Web Components model is positioned to solve many of the problems that beset web developers today. “Developers are longing for the ability to have reusable, declarative, expressive components,” says Brian Sletten, a specialist in semantic web and next-generation technologies, software architecture, API design, software development and security, and data science, and president of software consultancy Bosatsu Consulting, Inc.

Web Components should fulfill that longing: With Templates, Custom Elements, Shadow DOM, and Imports draft specifications (and thus still subject to change), developers get a set of specifications for creating their web applications and elements as a set of reusable components. While most browsers don’t yet support these specifications, there are Web Component projects like Polymer that enable developers who want to start taking advantage of these capabilities right away to build Web objects and applications atop the specs today.

“With this kind of structure in place, now there is a market for people to create components that can be reused across any HTML-based application or document,” Sletten says. “There will be an explosion of people building reusable components so that you and I can use those elements and don’t have to write a ton of obnoxious JavaScript to do certain things.”

That in itself is exciting, Sletten says, but even more so is the connection he made that semantic markup can be added to any web component.

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Google Researchers Use End-to-End Neural Network To Caption Pictures

pizzaGoogle researchers have announced the development of a machine-learning system that can automatically produce captions to accurately describe images in properly formed sentences the first time it sees them.

“This kind of system could eventually help visually impaired people understand pictures, provide alternate text for images in parts of the world where mobile connections are slow, and make it easier for everyone to search on Google for images,” report research Scientists Oriol Vinyals, Alexander Toshev, Samy Bengio, and Dumitru Erhan in a blog about how they’re building a neural image caption generator.

Getting there, the researchers say, involved merging recent computer vision and language models into a single jointly trained system that can directly produce a human readable sequence of words to describe a given image. The task is no easy one, they point out, explaining that unlike image classification or object recognition on its own, their work has to account not only for the objects contained in the image, but also for expressing how these objects relate to each other, as well as their attributes and the activities they are involved in.

The approach leverages an end- to-end neural network that can automatically view an image and generate a plan English description of it.

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How To Improve Self-Service Support

steponeStepOne’s first product, Contextual Care, is a contextually-based recommendation engine designed to help a company’s customers service themselves online. It leads them to the information they need in realtime based on factors such as applying what a company knows about a customer to predicting the question he might ask; matching content to the question based on machine learning algorithms; and getting smarter about doing that by continuously learning through customer interactions.

It became clear to StepOne as it deployed this product with its clients that in many cases, the clients first needed to have a higher definition view of their self-service content to make the best calls for their customers. Now, it’s debuting Care Profiler, a diagnostic tool to help clients assess the quality of their self-service support libraries and boost them to better address customer issues.

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How To Really Hear The Voice of the Customer

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Image courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/

There’s a whole lot of customer information out there, including the verbatim comments companies record as part of customer call center surveys or other voice-based interactions. At Verizon Wireless, for example, more than 190 million customers call in daily, weekly and monthly, and sound bites from them during after-call surveys, each a few seconds long, added up to about a ton of data that wasn’t being factored into its customer analytics efforts.

“We had the information, the WAV files, but we couldn’t analyze them with the same lens and same tools” Verizon was bringing to the text – emails, social media, surveys, and so on – commentary from its customers, according to Lorraine Schumacher, Director of Operations Customer Business Intelligence at Verizon, during a recent webinar hosted by customer experience management vendor Clarabridge. Verizon had been using Clarabridge’s technology to monitor its various listening posts to drive strategic business decisions based on analyzing text and sentiment in social media and other sources.

Now, it saw an opportunity to transcribe its WAV files of direct customer feedback so that the information in them could be processed and analyzed to support those same ends. Speech recognition and analytics vendor Voci Technologies partnered with Clarabridge to support those goals.

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Smart Glasses Don’t Have Consumer Vote Yet

gglassGot your Smart Glasses on today? If not, you’re very much not alone. According to a report published this month by Juniper Research, Smart Glasses: Consumer, Enterprise and Healthcare Strategies and Forecasts 2014-2019, smart glass shipments are “unlikely to exceed 10 million per annum until 2018.”

What’s holding back one of the early entrants in the wearables sector? The report cites “emerging privacy concerns, dismissal of the initial devices as ugly and, most importantly, questions about exactly how useful the devices are in day-to-day life. While there is an active development community for smart glasses, no developers have precise answers as to how the devices will improve the lives of consumers.”

There is enterprise interest, it notes, but because businesses are more likely to share devices among users rather than buy them in bulk for everyone, “this will result in high investment but low shipment volumes to the enterprise for the next five years.”

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Cleveland Clinic And IBM Watson To Tackle DNA Mutations

ibmwatsonlogoLate last month saw IBM expand its existing engagement with the Cleveland Clinic around its deployment of IBM Watson technology to cover new domains. The vendor already has worked with faculty, physicians and students at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University on a project to develop Watson-related cognitive technologies to help physicians make more informed and accurate decisions faster and to cull new insights from electronic medical records. Now, the Lerner Research Institute’s Genomic Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic will evaluate Watson’s ability to help oncologists develop more personalized care to patients for a variety of cancers.

Watson is being leveraged by other institutions in the field of cancer care, including Memorial Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson. The new venture with Cleveland Clinic is focused on identifying patterns in genome sequencing and medical data to unlock insights that will help clinicians bring the promise of genomic medicine to their patients, using Watson’s cognitive system, deep computational biology models and IBM’s public cloud infrastructure SoftLayer, IBM says.

“There is a lot of work going on in the cancer area,” says Steve Harvey, IBM VP of Watson Cancer Genomics. This latest partnership aims to work toward identifying drugs that might be relevant to treat a particular patient’s condition by working from the understanding that cancer is a disease of DNA, and by leveraging the fact that the cost of reading DNA has gone down drastically. Today, it’s possible to take a patient’s normal cell and see the DNA there and compare that to the DNA in a cancer cell to see the differences – the mutations – that can point medical professionals in the direction of what actually is causing the tumor.

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Factiva Teams With Evernote To Redefine Productivity

Factiva Evernote 2Starting December, Factiva will integrate with Evernote’s Context, a recently added capability from the productivity platform’s new Augmented Intelligence team that surfaces content relevant to information that users are writing about or collecting. And starting today, all one million Factiva users will get the ability to add Factiva articles right to their Evernote notebooks.

Making its information easily available to users, including across devices such as smartphones and tablets, is key for Factiva. “The notions of productivity and mobility are very important to us,” says Frank Filippo, VP, GM of Corporate Products at Dow Jones and head of Factiva, which enriches the content it aggregates with capabilities such as company, industry, region, and subject taxonomies. Mobile considerations will become an increasing focus for Factiva as it seeks to expand further beyond its core audience of information pros and researchers to a wider and perhaps less deskbound audience that needs to efficiently access quality data, such as users charged with competitive intelligence or mergers and acquisitions strategies.

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Lexalytics’ Semantria Accommodates Text Analytics Abroad

lexsemInternational expansion has been a focus for cloud-based text and sentiment analytics vendor Semantria since its acquisition by text mining vendor Lexalytics over the summer. This week, that’s being addressed by adding enterprise text analytics servers in Europe, to address compliance with EU privacy laws around the location of personal data, as well as making its services available in Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Malay.

Lexalytics’ Semantria SaaS and Excel text-mining platform has a few clients in Europe so far, including among them several large social media monitoring and voice-of-the-customer clients that it’s signed up in the last quarter, according to Seth Redmore, VP Product & Marketing Lexalytics.  eDigitalResearch in the UK is one of them. English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are already among its supported languages, and Dutch should be next on board.

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Bring On The Apps For New Cognitive Computing Cloud Platform

CogScalelogoOctober saw the debut of Cognitive Scale’s cognitive cloud platform, which provides sourcing, analyzing and interpreting data of all sorts and context signals on any public cloud infrastructure. The details of the platform for pulling insights out of massive amounts of multi-structured data are covered in a story you can read at our sister site Dataversity.net. Here, The Semantic Web Blog relays some more information about usage scenarios around its services, according to Matt Sanchez, the company’s founder, chief technology officer, and vice president of products.

The platform includes at its top layer vertical applications, and healthcare is a main focus. Guided care applications have a spot here. The role of care managers becomes more important in the changing world of healthcare costs and reimbursements, where patient engagement – especially of the chronically ill – can keep a pediatric asthma patient, for example, from showing up in the ER room, which translates to a high-cost visit. Today, “provider organizations are more incented to be proactive in care,” says Sanchez, which means asking and analyzing who is at risk right now and what can be done to prevent a negative outcome like that.

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Halloween Scares Of Another Variety

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peddhapati/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peddhapati/

What could be scarier than a haunted house on Halloween, packed with ghouls, axe murderers and the standard array of blood and guts?

Well, maybe the real fright night lies with technology. Consider the following scares that might just send Michael Myers himself into a terror tizzy:

  • Artificial intelligence. Tesla, Paypal and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, as reported in this article in Mashable, recently told an audience at MIT’s Centennial Symposium that, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.” Musk said to attendees that he probably ranks AI as our biggest existential threat, commenting that, “In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, ‘Yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon.’ Doesn’t work out.”

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