Companies

Baidu Takes on Artificial Intelligence

Baidu logoDaniel Sparks of The Motley Fool reported, “”Chinese companies are starting to dream,” said early investor in Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU  ) and managing partner at GGV Capital Jixun Foo. Foo’s proclamation was made in an in-depth article by MIT Technology Review, which examined the Chinese search giant’s new effort to change the world with artificial intelligence. The company’s new AI lab does, indeed, accompany some lofty aspirations — ones big enough to hopefully help Baidu become a global Internet powerhouse and to compete with the likes of Google in increasingly important emerging markets where the default search engine hasn’t yet taken the throne. But what are the implications for investors? Fortunately, Baidu’s growing infatuation with AI looks like it could give birth to winning strategies that could build sustainable value over the long haul.”

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Microsoft Assists Internet of Things

AllSeen Alliance logoPhil Goldstein of FierceWireless reported that, “Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) joined the AllSeen Alliance, an open-source project founded on Qualcomm technology and aimed at coming up with a standard to connect devices and have them interact as part of the Internet of Things. The software giant’s participation in the group adds heft to its membership, which has been largely dominated by consumer electronics and home appliance makers.The AllSeen Alliance’s leading members include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic and Sharp, and in total the group now has 51 members. Adding Microsoft could ensure that future Windows devices interact with other connected gadgets via the AllSeen Alliance’s specifications.”

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End of Support for the Sindice.com search engine: history, lessons learned, and legacy (Guest Post)

[Editor’s Note: Since 2007, Sindice.com has served as a specialized search engine allowing Semantic Web practitioners and researchers to locate structured data on the Web. At the peak of its activity, Sindice.com had an index of over 700M pages and processed 20M pages per day. In a post last week, the founding team announced the end of support for Sindice.com to concentrate on delivering the technology developed for the engine to enterprise users. This week, SemanticWeb.com is proud to host a guest post by the founding team explaining the history, the challanges and the future of this technology.]

Photo of the Sindice Team, 2012

Photo of the Sindice Team, 2012

The word “Sindice” has been around for quite some time in research and practice on the “Semantic Web” or “lets see how we can turn the web into a database”.

Since 2007, Sindice.com has served as a specialized search engine that would do a crazy thing: throw away the text and just concentrate on the “markup” of the web pages. Sindice would provide an advanced API to query RDF, RDFa, Microformats and Microdata found on web sites, together with a number of other services. Sindice turned useful, we guess, as approximately 1100 scientific works in the last few years refer to it in a way or another.

Last week, we the founding team announced the end of our support of the original Sindice.com semantic search engine to concentrate on the technology that came from it.

With the launch in 2012 of Schema.org, Google and others have effectively embraced the vision of the “Semantic Web.” With the RDFa standard, and now even more with JSON-LD, richer markup is becoming more and more popular on websites. While there might not be public web data “search APIs”, large collections of crawled data (pages and RDF) exist today which are made available on cloud computing platforms for easy analysis with your favorite big data paradigm.

Even more interestingly, the technology of Sindice.com has been made available in several projects maintained either as open source (see below) or commercially supported by the Sindice.com team now transitioned in the Sindice LTD company, AKA SindiceTech.

It has been quite a journey for us, and given there is no single summary anywhere we thought we’d take this occasion to write and share it.

This is both for “historical” reasons and as a way to glimpse at future directions of this field and these technologies.

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SemanticWeb.com “Innovation Spotlight” Interview with Kevin O’Connor, CEO of FindTheBest and Founder of DoubleClick

The founder of DoubleClick.com, purchased by Google in 2007 for around $3.7 billion,  Kevin O’Connor, spoke with me about his newest venture FindTheBest.com. Founded in 2009, FindTheBest.com makes recommendations and comparisons for just about anything of interest on the web.  Kevin tells us all about FindTheBest.com, recommendation engines, and future plans for his company.

If you would like your company to be considered for an interview please email editor[ at ]semanticweb[ dot ]com.


Sean:
Hi Kevin, after leaving DoubleClick, which was sold to Google, what made you decide to start another company?

Kevin: I resigned as the CEO of DoubleClick in 2000, although I did remain the Chairman until the company was sold in 2005. I had spent 17 years working 80-hour weeks—and loved it—but ultimately decided I wanted more balance in my life; that meant spending more time with my family.

My passion for tech, however, never faded. I wanted to find a way get back into the tech world, but still have time for all the other important things in life. So I decided to start my own venture capital firm—O’Connor Ventures—and began investing in promising startups like Surfline, Meet-Up, Procore and Travidia.

I honestly didn’t think I would get back into the tech world as a founder, but I was becoming more and more frustrated by the chaos of the Web and I wanted to find a way to organize it.

 Sean:  What inspired you to start FindTheBest.com? What problem where you trying to solve?

Kevin: FindTheBest was founded out of three fundamental problems I saw with the Web:

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Insights from the SemTechBiz Conference – UK

The Semantic Technology and Business Conference – UK took place in London last week at the Millennium Goucester Hotel, and a number of themes emerged from the two-day event. A few of the sessions are highlighted below, but first, let us turn to some of the attendees to share some of their favorite insights and takeaways:

Public Sector Semantics

Professor Nigel ShadboltThere was a lot of interest in the Public Sector work. One of the presentations that highlighted the Open Data movement was Nigel Shadbolt‘s Keynote presentation about the recently launched Open Data Institute. We have covered the ODI here, and Professor Shadbolt shared some exciting insights and perspectives on the Open Data economy. In his presentation, he referred to a report on which he collaborated that was published by Deloitte Analytics. This free white paper is available for download.

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SemanticWeb.com “Innovation Spotlight” Interview with Andreas Blumauer, CEO of Semantic Web Company

If you would like your company to be considered for an interview please email editor[ at ]semanticweb[ dot ]com.

In this segment of our “Innovation Spotlight” we spoke with Andreas Blumauer, the CEO of  Semantic Web Company. Semantic Web Company is headquartered in Vienna, Austria and their software extracts meaning from big data using linked data technologies. In this interview Andreas describes some of the their core products to us in more detail.

Sean: Hi Andreas. Can you give us a little background on your company? When did you get started in the Semantic Web?

Andreas: As an offspring of a ‘typical’ web agency from the early days of the internet, we became a specialized provider in 2004: The ‘Semantic Web School’ focused on research, consulting and training in the area of the semantic web. We learned quickly how the idea of a ‘semantic web’ was able to trigger a lot of great project visions but also, that most of the tools from the early days of the semantic web were rather scary for enterprises. In 2007 we experienced that information professionals began to search for grown-up semantic web solutions to improve their information infrastructure. We were excited that ‘our’ main topics obviously began to play a role in the development of IT-strategies in many organizations. We refocused on the development of software and renamed our company.

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Inforbix acquired by Autodesk

inforbix LogoAutodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), “a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software” announced today that it has acquired assets of Inforbix. Inforbix is a Semantic Technology-based product lifecycle management (PLM) company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Inforbix was co-founded  in 2010 by CEO Oleg Shilovitsky and CIO Anatoly Savin to answer the problem of how to retrieve product data located in different places in manufacturing companies that affects development, supply chains and manufacturing systems. Our own Jennifer Zaino interviewed Shilovitsky last year about this.

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Ontoprise GmbH Semantic Product Line Taken Over by Semafora

Semafora LogoFollowing the news in May that German company Ontoprise GmbH filed for bankruptcy, semafora systems GmbH has now announced that it will be taking over Ontoprise’s product divisions. These include SemanticGuide, SemanticMiner, OntoBroker, OntoStudio, SemanticContent Analytics, and SemanticIntegrator.

Financed by Triangle Venture Capital Group, semafora is promising a “seamless takeover and continuation of the business.” The transition also means that the base of operations for these products has moved from Karlsruhe to Darmstadt.

SemanticWeb.com “Innovation Spotlight” Interview with Elliot Turner, CEO of AlchemyAPI.

If you would like your company to be considered for an interview please email editor[ at ]semanticweb[ dot ]com.

In this segment of our “Innovation Spotlight” we spoke with Elliot Turner (@eturner303), the founder and CEO of AlchemyAPI.com. AlchemyAPI’s cloud-based platform processes around 2.5 billion requests per month. Elliot describes how their API helps companies with sentiment analysis, entity extraction, linked data, text mining, and keyword extraction.

Sean: Hi Elliot, thanks for joining us, how did AlchemyAPI get started?

Elliot: AlchemyAPI was founded in 2005 and in the past seven years has become one of the most widely used semantic analysis APIs, processing billions of transactions monthly for customers across dozens of countries.

I am the Founder and CEO and a serial entrepreneur who comes from the information security space.  My previous company built and sold high-speed network security appliances. After it was acquired, I started AlchemyAPI to focus on the problem of understanding natural human language and written communications.

Sean: Can you describe how your API works? What does it allow your customers to accomplish?

Elliot: Customers submit content via a cloud-based API, and AlchemyAPI analyzes that information in real-time, transforming opaque blobs of text into structured data that can be used to drive a number of business functions. The service is capable of processing thousands of customer transactions every second, enabling our customers to perform large-scale text analysis and content analytics without significant capital investment.

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The Semantic Link with Guest, Nick Holzherr of ‘The Apprentice’ and Whisk – July, 2012

Paul Miller, Bernadette Hyland, Ivan Herman, Eric Hoffer, Andraz Tori, Peter Brown, Christine Connors, Eric Franzon

On Friday, July 13, a group of Semantic thought leaders from around the globe met with their host and colleague, Paul Miller, for the latest installment of the Semantic Link, a monthly podcast covering the world of Semantic Technologies.

Whisk LogoThis episode includes a discussion with Nick Holzherr, finalist on the BBC One Television Series, “The Apprentice,” and founder of Whisk, a recipe planning idea based on big data and semantic analysis. He was named ‘emerging entrepreneur of the year’ by Insider Magazine in 2010, and Birmingham Young Personality of the Year (Entrepreneurship) in 2011.
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