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
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
The CloudNFVTM: Dynamic, Data-Driven Management and Operations project from the CloudNFV consortium took the award for most innovative catalyst at last week’s TM Forum Live! conference and expo in Nice, France. T his project is building on the goals of the TM Forum’s Information Framework (SID) to solve a big problem around network function virtualization: how to link orchestration systems in a virtual network with the other business and operational support systems controlling network policy. Without these connections, services like dynamic quality of service or even automated energy management simply won’t work at scale, according to the press release announcing the award.
The participants in the project included ICT solutions provider Huawei, deep packet inspection and network intelligence vendor Qosmos, and intelligent operations platform company EnterpriseWeb (which The Semantic Web Blog covered most recently here).
To find out what a project focused on enhancing the Forum’s Information Framework and Business Services Suite to make processes dynamic and event-driven – with the goal of enabling zero-touch orchestration and unified management – had to do with semantic technology, The Semantic Web Blog conducted a quick Q&A email session with EnterpriseWeb founder and managing director Dave Duggal. (Duggal was one of the speakers at last summer’s Semantic Technology Business Conference, in a session we previewed here.)
The Semantic Web Blog: For readers that aren’t cloud, networking, infrastructure and/or telecom experts, can you put this project, the CloudNFV consortium, and the impact on the teleco industry into context for us?
Duggal: Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is a movement being led by telecom operators through two major bodies: ETSI (a specifications group) and TM Forum (the telecom industry’s association). NFV is about replacing physical network appliances (specialized firewall, router, [and other] hardware, which is expensive to buy, deploy and maintain) with software.
Natalie Gagliordi of ZDnet reports, “It looks like Nokia is expanding its HERE Maps mapping business with its acquisition of the mapping startup Desti, a spinout from SRI International — the same group responsible for Apple’s Siri. This is the Finnish company’s first purchase since it sold its phone-making business to Microsoft last month. Desti uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to help travelers find what they’re looking for. For instance, if someone is looking for a low-cost place to stay on a business trip, Desti mines through hotel reviews and descriptions and weeds out the options that would appeal to partying college kids or lovers on a romantic getaway.” Read more
Steve O’Hear of Tech Crunch reports, “Online dating startup Loveflutter soft-launched in New York and the UK early last year with a site that aimed to match prospective dates based on shared interests. So far, so like nearly every legacy dating service. But what made the UK company potentially stand out — ignoring the silly launch campaign that required users to pass an ‘interesting’ test before signing up — was its use of Google-owned Freebase, the open database of people, places and things that powered the interest-graph behind Loveflutter’s match-making capability. Harnessing the same underlying semantic technology, Loveflutter is rebooting somewhat today with a mobile-first approach aiming to be a more ‘quirky’ Tinder.” Read more
Elaine Fiolet of Ubergizmo.com reports that mobile search company Sherpa has “launched its new software, Sherpa Next, which adds search and predictive capabilities to the smart personal assistant feature that its one million users already know. With Sherpa Next, CEO Xabier Uribe-Etxberria wants to ‘reinvent search’ and provide a more compelling user experience than the list of blue links that we all know from Google. Going head to head against is a bold move, but I have to admit, from the demo I saw during my meeting with Xabier, I was pretty impressed by the efficiency and the visual experience delivered by Sherpa Next.” Read more
Ron Callari of InventorSpot recently wrote, “In the foreseeable future, search on smartphones will allow for intuitive logic not just text-matching based on keywords. But what will our smartphones offer in the Web 3.0 world of Semantic Technology, Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things? Semantic search is already being addressed by the major search engines and social networks to understand the intent of the user. All the major players are competing for dominance of semantic computing because it’s been identified as the solution to the demanding needs of big data.” Read more
Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “In 2013, mobile traffic in the US almost doubled. Cyber Monday of 2013 was the year that cyber Monday went mobile. And, according to Gartner, Q2 of 2013 was the first time that sales of smartphones surpassed sales of feature phones, with the former accounting for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales worldwide. That last fact in particular shows the unlocked potential of the mobile web. The mobile web is on fire, and a mobile content strategy is a must for 2014. Evan Britton, CEO of FamousBirthdays.com, kicked off the IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia conference with a very engaging keynote entitled ‘Succeeding with content in a mobile world.’ ” Read more
Nara is officially on its way from being solely a consumer-lifestyle brand – with its neural networking technology helping users find dining and hotel experiences that match their tastes – to also being the power behind other companies’ recommendation and curation offerings. This summer it made a deal with Singapore Communications’ Singtel Digital Life Division to use its technology to help their users hone in on personalized eating options, and today that online food and dining guide, HungryGoWhereMalysia, goes live.
But Singtel won’t be the only outside party to plug into Nara’s backbone, as the company today also is announcing that it is licensing its capabilities to other parties interested in leveraging them. “An enterprise can plug into our neural network in the cloud through our API,” says CEO Tom Copeman, accessing its smarts for analyzing and then personalizing tons of data from anywhere on the web, tailored to the type of service they’d like to offer.
HungryGoWhereMalaysia, for example, is much like Nara for personalized restaurant discovery here in the states, except culturally branded to their markets; local consumers will get tailored list of dining recommendations from over 35,000 restaurants throughout the country, and as the service gets to know them better, suggestions will be more finely honed to match their Digital DNA profiles. “We believe we’re the first in computer science to receive third-party data from outside sources through our API into our neural network, to make the calculations and comparisons, and send back down a more organized, personalized and targeted selections based on individual preferences.”
Karsten Strauss of Forbes reports, “Your phone or tablet’s keyboard may seem simple to you but to Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds it’s a universe of mathematics and algorithms. Their company, SwiftKey, has spent the past five years pushing to streamline the texting process using a special typing technology that some say is downright creepy in its ability to figure out what word you’ll type next. With 15 million downloads since 2010 – 3 million for the $3.99 pricetag – SwiftKey’s been the bestselling productivity app on Google Play for over a year and topped the download charts in 57 countries. This spring the company inked a multi-year licensing deal with Samsung to power keyboards on 100 million of the mobile giant’s phones by year’s end (including the Galaxy S4) and just closed a $17.6 million series B this July, led by Index Ventures.” Read more
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