Industry Verticals

Setting Government Data Free

taAs July 4 approaches, the subject of open government data can’t help but be on many U.S. citizens’ minds. That includes the citizens who are responsible for opening up that data to their fellow Americans. They might want to take a look at NuCivic Data Enterprise, the recently unveiled cloud-based, open source, open data platform for government from NuCivic, in partnership with Acquia and Carahsoft. It’s providing agencies an OpenSaaS approach to meeting open data mandates to publish and share datasets online, based on the Drupal open source content management system.

NuCivic’s open source DKAN Drupal distribution provides the core data management components for the NuCivic Data platform; it was recognized last week as a grand prize winner for Amazon Web Services’ Global City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge in the Partner in Innovation category. Projects in this category had to demonstrate that the application solves a particular challenge faced by local government entities. As part of the award, the NuCivic team gets $25,000 in AWS services to further support its open data efforts.

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IBM Watson Group CTO Discusses Cognitive Computing, Content Curation For Healthcare Market

robhighThe role that cognitive computing can play in healthcare was explored last week in this story published at The Semantic Web Blog’s sister site Dataversity.net. That article looked at how Modernizing Medicine is leveraging IBM Watson for its new schEMA tablet app that helps doctors use the wealth of published medical research from highly reputable sources, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and New England Journal of Medicine, to answer their questions.

Today, we’re complementing that article to further explore such aspects of the health care and cognitive computing connection based on an email conversation with IBM Watson Group CTO Robert High. “IBM Watson is transforming the patient experience and healthcare delivery system by helping physicians make sense of the enormous amount of data generated by an increasingly connected healthcare environment,” High writes.

“Content curation is a critical part of the solution delivery process. Without reputable and reliable sources of medical literature, therapy choices offered by Watson may not have the supporting evidence needed to inform clinicians in the use of those treatments. We work with the top clinicians at our partners to collect their feedback on supporting evidence and cull inappropriate information from their sources.” IBM, along with its solutions partners, works with a variety of content providers based on the relevance of their materials to treatment options, he adds.

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Added Siri Localization Expected from Apple

Apple

Apple Insider recently reported, “According to Apple’s ‘Jobs at Apple’ website, the company is seeking ‘Siri Language Engineers’ fluent in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Russian, all of which are currently unsupported by the voice recognizing digital assistant. The job postings were first uncovered by MacRumors. Along with the nine new languages, Apple is looking to enhance Siri‘s existing lexicon with hires fluent in Australian and British English, Cantonese and Japanese. All listings ask not only for fluency, but for native speakers to handle colloquialisms locals may use when speaking to Siri. Apple also strives to make Siri’s own speech as natural as possible, meaning the potential hires will likely be working on responses to user queries.”  Read more

Cornell Team Teaching a Robot to Do Complex Tasks

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John Biggs of Tech Crunch reports, “A new research project by a computer science team at Cornell University is using human volunteers to train robots to perform tasks. How is it unique? They’re showing robots how to infer actions based on very complex, human comments. Instead of having to say ‘move arm left 5 inches’ they are hoping that, one day, robots will respond to ‘Make me some ramen’ or ‘Clean up my mess.’ The commands are quite rudimentary right now and focus mostly around loose requests like “boil the ramen for a few minutes” which, with enough processing, can be turned into a step-by-step set of commands. For example, in the video above a subject asks for an affogato, basically coffee with ice cream. The robot has learned the basic recipe and so uses what is at hand — a barrel of ice cream, a bowl, and a coffee dispenser — to produce a tasty treat for its human customer.” Read more

Big Data Challenges In Banking And Securities

Photo courtesy: Johan Hansson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/plastanka/

Photo courtesy: Johan Hansson, https://www.flickr.com/photos/plastanka/

A new report from the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC), Big Data Cases in Banking and Securities, looks to understand big data challenges specific to banking by studying 16 projects at 10 of the top global investment and retail banks.

According to the report, about half the cases involved e petabyte or more or data. That includes both natural language text and highly structured formats that themselves presented a great deal of variety (such as different departments using the same field for a different purpose or for the same purpose but using a different vocabulary) and therefore a challenge for integration in some cases. The analytic complexity of the workloads studied, the Intel-sponsored report notes, covered everything from basic transformations at the low end to machine learning at the high-end.

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Amazon’s Firefly for New Fire Phone offers ‘Semantic Boosting’

fire phone

Megan Geuss of Ars Technica reports, “At a Wednesday press conference in Seattle, Amazon announced a service that would go along with its newly debuted Fire Phone. Called Firefly, this new technology is packaged in an app that can identify up to 100 million objects. For the most part, this feature will integrate with the Amazon marketplace, allowing you to take photos of products and buy them from Amazon, but the technology used to make it run will also be available to developers in an SDK available now… Using Firefly, a button on the side of the Fire Phone will instruct the camera to recognize a phone number, a book, a DVD, a URL, a QR code, and more. Additionally, Firefly will be able to listen for music (like Shazam) and identify a song that’s playing in the ambient noise around you.” Read more

HTTPA Will Let You Track How Your Private Data is Used

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Larry Hardesty of the MIT News Office reports, “By now, most people feel comfortable conducting financial transactions on the Web. The cryptographic schemes that protect online banking and credit card purchases have proven their reliability over decades. As more of our data moves online, a more pressing concern may be its inadvertent misuse by people authorized to access it. Every month seems to bring another story of private information accidentally leaked by governmental agencies or vendors of digital products or services. At the same time, tighter restrictions on access could undermine the whole point of sharing data. Coordination across agencies and providers could be the key to quality medical care; you may want your family to be able to share the pictures you post on a social-networking site.” Read more

Financial Execs Worry About Data Lineage; Triple Stores Can Calm Fears

 

Photo courtesy: Flickr/ FilterForge

Photo courtesy: Flickr/ FilterForge

The Aite Group, which provides research and consulting services to the international financial services market, spends its fair share of time exploring the data and analytics challenges the industry faces. Senior analyst Virginie O’Shea commented on many of them during a webinar this week sponsored by enterprise NoSQL vendor MarkLogic.

Dealing with multiple data feeds from a variety of systems; feeding information to hundreds of end users with different priorities about what they need to see and how they need to see it; a lack of a common internal taxonomy across the organization that would enable a single identifier for particular data items; the toll ETL, cleansing, and reconciliation can take on agile data delivery; the limitations in cross-referencing and linking instruments and data to other data that exact a price on data governance and quality – they all factor into the picture she sketched out.

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NSF Funds Claremont McKenna Mathematics Professor to Research Compressive Signal Processing

cmCLAREMONT, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Claremont McKenna College assistant professor of mathematics Deanna Needell has been awarded a prestigious, five-year National Science Foundation CAREER grant of more than $413,000 for her research on the practical application of compressive signal processing (CSP). The grant, from the NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Read more

Detecting Pneumonia in ICU Patients with Natural Language Processing

76765412_618a458105Greg Goth of Health Data Management reports, “Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft have developed technology that uses natural language processing and machine learning to speed up the diagnosis of pneumonia in ICU patients. Bioinformatics professor Meliha Yetisgen and her colleagues at the university teamed up with Microsoft researcher Lucy Vanderwende on the project, called deCIPHER, using the Microsoft Research Statistical Parsing and Linguistic Analysis Toolkit (Splat).” Read more

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