Reuven Cohen of Forbes recently wrote, “New audible interaction methods and API standards could be poised to usher in a new generation of web technology. Technology specifically tailored to interact with us as individuals rather than having us adapt to interact with the web. At the heart of this transformation is a new crop of technologies focused on natural language interaction through the use of verbal commands. In its most simple form, speech recognition is the ability to translate spoken words into text. The technology is certainly not a new concept; it has been around for almost 60 years. In 1954, the so-called Georgetown-IBM experiment was an influential demonstration of the first machine-based translation program.” Read more
Natural Language Processing
Barry Levine of CMS Wire reports, “To help businesses find useful insights in growing amounts of big data, Massachusetts-based OneSource is reinventing search – and changing its name to Avention to reflect its new direction. Jonathan Flatow, Avention’s CEO, told us the new name implies ‘avenue of invention’ — something he believes suits the new search application. Designed for sales, marketing and business researchers, it uses natural language and semantic understanding to conceptually sift through mounds of data sources. Phil McWade, Avention’s Manager of Product Development, told CMSWire, ‘We’re giving our customers what they really want.’ Marketing and sales professionals don’t want ‘a list of news articles’ about companies: They want to identify companies they can sell to.” Read more
What are your customers – or potential clients – saying or asking online, often in short texts and streaming posts, or in emails about your products, services, or their own particular interests or desires? If you can understand their actionable intents in realtime, then you have a good shot at responding swiftly and appropriately to those expressed intents, requests, or queries. That could add up to new sales, new customers, and better marketing and product management.
Startup Cruxly, which is presenting at this week’s Sentiment Analysis Symposium in NYC, believes it’s taking the oft-touted concept of social media monitoring in a new direction with its platform that applies natural language processing techniques for intent detection in realtime. “The idea is to be actionable,” says CEO Aloke Guha. “If it’s not actionable, at most [monitoring] is a nice-to-have [capability].”
Will deep learning take us where we want to go? It’s one of the questions that Oxford University professor of Computational Linguistics Stephen Pulman will be delving into at this week’s Sentiment Analysis Symposium. There, he’ll be participating in a workshop session today on compositional sentiment analysis and giving a presentation tomorrow on bleeding-edge natural language processing.
“There is a lot of hype about deep learning, but it’s not a magic solution,” says Pulman. “I worry whenever there is hype about some technologies like this that it raises expectations to the point where people are bound to be disappointed.”
That’s not to imply, however, that important progress isn’t taking place when it comes to deep learning, which leverages machine learning methods based on learning representations with applications to everything from NLP to computer vision to speech recognition.
Stamford, CT (PRWEB) February 27, 2014 — Creative Virtual is very pleased to announce that its V-Person™ technology is powering the largest installation of a natural language self-help system in the financial services industry today.
The V-Person system provides personalized answers to logged-in customers based on the services and products that they use. The system provides answers to the bank’s customers live, while reporting Voice-of-the-Customer feedback to the bank in real-time. This functionality is made possible by V-Portal™, Creative Virtual’s proprietary knowledge management system that enables answers to be personalized for each user based on their profile. Read more
Jennifer LeClaire of News Factor reports, “Big Blue wants business users and consumers to put the power of its Watson supercomputer in the palms of their hands. At Mobile World Congress, IBM launched the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a global competition to encourage developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson. Using natural language processing and analytics, Watson processes information akin to how people think, representing a major shift in an organization’s ability to quickly analyze, understand and respond to big data. Watson’s ability to answer complex questions with speed, accuracy and confidence is transforming decision making across a variety of industries, including health care, financial services and retail.” Read more
RT News recently shared the ponderings of artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil. The article begins, “Most people would probably agree that computers are man-made technologies that function inside the strict boundaries of man-made borders. For technologists like Google engineering director Ray Kurzweil, however, the moment when computers liberate themselves from their masters will occur in our lifetime. By the year 2029, computers and robots will not only have surpassed their makers in terms of raw intelligence, they will understand us better than we understand ourselves, the futurist predicts with enthusiasm. Kurzweil, 66, is the closest thing to a pop star in the world of artificial intelligence, the place where self-proclaimed geeks quietly lay the grid work for what could be truly described as a new world order.” Read more
Stephen Wolfram Demos Knowledge-Based Programming Language As It Approaches Official Release (Video)
Stephen Wolfram is talking more publicly about the Wolfram Language, this week releasing a video demo of the knowledge-based programming language. As he describes in the video below, the symbolic language builds in a vast amount of knowledge of how to do computations and about the world itself. “Through symbolic structure of the language,” he says, primitives for everything from processing images to looking up stock prices “are all set up to work together in a wonderfully coherent way.”
The concept of coherence – the idea that everything in the language must fit together – is in fact one of the principles that have guided the development of the language over the past decades, he explains, as is maximum automation – the idea that the language should take care of as much as possible. If you are working in machine learning, for example, and want to build a data classifier, “in the Wolfram Language there’s just one Super Function, Classify, that’s packed with meta-algorithms to automatically figure out what to do,” he says. There are thousands of Super Functions in the language, he says, which “effectively give you the highest possible level of building blocks for programs.”
These building blocks contain not only algorithms but knowledge and data, too, including knowledge about how to import and export formats and interact with external APIs and huge amounts of curated computable data – the same data that powers Wolfram Alpha, completely programmatically accessible, he says. Ask it when the sun will set today, and you’ll get the answer for your current location, for instance.
Former Personalized Media CEO Rajiv Salimath hosts a launch party March 1 for his latest venture, Haggle. What Haggle’s about, he says, is letting people use their own data to show venues – starting with restaurants – how they’re a valuable customer, and turn that to their purchasing advantage.
Users can apply today for their shot at getting personalized pricing via the Haggle mobile app through realtime digital interactions with businesses that have also signed onto the platform. By launch that should include some 75 restaurants in New York, with the goal of hitting 100 to 150 there and another 150 in the San Francisco area in the spring.
How it works, Salimath says, is that users give the app access to their social data, which it crunches and gives back to them. “We take all your social and digital data and convert it to real-world metrics that matter,” he says. “We give you the data to negotiate with businesses.” It calculates four scores including social influence, loyalty to a particular spot, history of going to places of that type generally (seafood restaurants, for instance), and purchasing power, and based on those scores a screen swipe for the locale reveals the personalized discount that venue is willing to give the user – which he or she may attempt to further negotiate online. All the user needs to do is show the screen to the wait staff for the discount to be applied to the bill.
Jeff Bertolucci of Information Week reports, “Computers do many things faster and more efficiently than the human brain, but they’re decidedly inferior when it comes to extracting meaning from human language. As BigData-Startups.com founder Mark van Rijmenam writes in a recent blog post, the key stumbling block here is that computers understand ‘unambiguous and highly structured’ programming language, while human language is a minefield of nuance, emotion, and implied intent. Van Rijmenam also quotes a Chronicle of Higher Education post by Geoffrey Pullum, a professor of general linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. Pullum outlines three prerequisites for computers to master human language: ‘First, enough syntax to uniquely identify the sentence; second, enough semantics to extract its literal meaning; and third, enough pragmatics to infer the intent behind the utterance, and thus discerning what should be done or assumed given that it was uttered.’ ” Read more