2012 SemTechBiz London

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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Tuning In Social Media To Turn On What You’ll Like

A European Union-funded project to bring the web and TV closer together, called NoTube, wrapped up earlier this year. But its legacy lives on in the form of Beancounter.io from Sourcesense. The company, which was one of the project’s co-founders, had a role in the NoTube effort around integrating viewers’ social web activities as part of the platform to deliver TV content in personalized ways to users.

Leveraging the open source software, libraries and best practices that were outcomes of the project, Sourcesense has continued to move forward to deliver a commercial, scalable Web API platform that offers semantically enriched user profiles built from users’ activities performed on the Social Web. One of the first customers of its efforts is one of the largest Italian broadcast companies, RAI, which was also involved in the EU project.

Beancounter is powering a second- screen service on top of the platform to provide its 5 million viewers information on related content that may be of interest to them based on profiling their social activities (with their permission).

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ODI Adds Jeni Tennison, Gavin Starks to Executive Team

The Open Data Institute has announced that Jeni Tennison will take the role of Technical Director at the Institute and Gavin Starks will take the role of CEO. The announcement states, “Created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, the ODI will open its doors this autumn and is a world-first, dedicated to incubating and nurturing new and existing businesses that want to use open data to create economic growth… The new hires will be based at the ODI’s Shoreditch HQ, which will open its doors later this year and will become a focal point for entrepreneurs and developers, start-ups and established corporates, technologists and creatives to meet, share ideas and drive growth.” Shadbolt will give a keynote address at next week’s SemTechBiz UK Conference in London. Read more

Big Data and the Semantic Web: Their Paths Will Cross

Big Data and the Semantic Web are on a track to intersect. And businesses that want to be on track to profit from the explosion in data should start looking a little more closely at that intersection, and soon.

“We’ve got more data now than ever before coming at us, and it is coming faster and faster,” says Frank Coyle, director of the Software Engineering program in the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University, whose research is in the area of web services and semantic web technologies. “So the semantic angle is how can you organize this data to take advantage of it, to do queries over it.” Those in the semantic web community say RDF is the way to go, he says, adding that people now use the term linked data as another way of describing semantic data. “If you take Big Data and link it, then you have semantics – you have meaning now introduced into the equation.”

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Real-Time NLP And The Cloud Are Key To Online Recipe And Shopping Service Whisk

What do you get when you mix two parts natural language processing with a little personalization, and add in a dash of the cloud? The answer is Whisk, a U.K. company building a service that lets users purchase the ingredients for any recipe they find on the Internet.

“The crux of it is that you can take any recipe on the ‘Net and turn it into a transaction in on online market,” says co-founder Craig Edmunds. “There’s a machine translation problem from the recipe up through to our internal language, which is one NLP problem, and then another is from our internal language into online markets.” Another leg of the work is that the service seeks to not match to just one item at a market but as many as possible, and consider user preferences as to which is the optimal product, too.

At the upcoming Semantic Technology and Business Conference in the U.K., Edmunds will be considering how the issues of machine translation, manual intervention, personalization and the cloud intersect in creating a service that adds all the ingredients they need for dishes they find online straight into their online shopping basket.

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On What Shores Will Semantic Tech Be Better Commercialized?

Courtesy: Flickr/Images of Money

Where is semantic technology better poised to be better commercialized – the U.S. or Europe? With The Semantic Business and Technology conference heading across the ocean to the U.K. next month, it seems a good time to provide some perspective on the question.

At the last SemTech conference in San Francisco, 3RoundStones took first place in the Startup competition with Callimachus Enterprise. During a discussion of some of the product’s winning features, talk turned to some of the differences between how semantic technology has progressed in the States and overseas.

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Experience Tangible Semantics at SemTechBiz UK

Next month’s SemTechBiz UK in London will explore how Semantic Technologies have moved well beyond the theoretical to practical applications that allow users to interact with semantic systems in tangible ways. The conference will be held 19-20 September in London and will feature real-world case studies, dynamic presentations, and innovative keynotes from some of the most forward-thinking minds in the world of Semantic Technology.

Early bird rates end tomorrow, so register today and save.

Featured Presentations

Tangible Semantics with Christian Doegl, CEO & Founder – Uma Information Technology GmbH

Uma is the marriage of semantic technology with interactive signage and multi-touch displays, RFID technology, audience metrics, and social media integration. Uma has its own semantic content curator engine that can contextualize data from additional repositories, such as a vendor’s internal product database, to deliver appropriate accompanying information. This presentation will demonstrate UMA touchscreen displays and show the power of a very easy to use interface where users can simply connect different databases or social channels, the content gets aggregated and semantically annotated, and then is brought into context and presented automatically on the wall. From there users approaching the display wall can touch their way through the content.

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School Days: Reading, Writing, and Linked Data

Courtesy: Flickr/jjorogen

September’s getting closer, and for just about everyone, the coming turn of the calendar page brings to mind thoughts of the school year ahead. More specifically, for educators and students, the new school year is just as likely to call up images of iPad tablets and smart-boards as it is to bring forth memories of freshly sharpened pencils and blackboards.

But it’s still probably true that dreams of Linked Data don’t dance through their heads as they contemplate the curricula. But that will change, especially in higher education, where online and remote learning increasingly plays a role — and sooner rather than later.  A paper published earlier this summer, Linked Data for Open and Distance Learning, provides some interesting perspective on the idea. Authored by Mathieu d’Aquin, Research Fellow, Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, it explores how Linked Data can revolutionize the arena of open and distance learning.

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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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