Steven Overly of the Washington Post reports, “Four Washington area companies were crowned winners at the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Destination Innovation event Wednesday, bringing an end to a months-long competition that pitted companies against one another in four distinct categories: social, commerce, government and security… McLean-based LMI won the government category for its OpenPolicy product, which makes it easier to sift through massive documents.” Read more
As The Semantic Web Blog discussed yesterday here, the Virtual Personal Assistant is getting more personal. Microsoft officially unveiled Cortana as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone software at its Build event yesterday, and the service effectively replaces the search function on Windows smartphones, both for the Internet and locally.
This statement served as the theme from corporate vice president and manager Joe Belfiore: “Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me and about the things that matter to me most and the people that matter to me most, that understands the Internet and is great at helping me get things done.”
The Bing-powered Cortana is launching in beta mode, and was still subject to a few hiccups during the presentation. For example, when Belfiore asked Cortana to give him the weather in Las Vegas, it reported the information in degrees, and was able to respond to his request to provide the same information in Celsius. But he couldn’t get her to make the calculations to Kelvin. But, he promised attendees, “Try it yourself because she is smart enough to tell you the answer in Kelvin.”
Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla of the Calgary Herald recently wrote, “Apple’s Siri intelligent personal assistant has been around for nearly four years and standard on iOS devices for three years. The peppy and often humorous artificial intelligence has evolved in terms of features and the number of services it can access. Siri is also getting some stiff competition from Google Now, which along with answering user-initiated queries like Siri, it also passively delivers information to the user by way of visual flash cards… Named after a character in Microsoft’s popular Halo video game franchise, the Cortana personal assistant is expected to come to Windows Phone devices, Xbox and possibly tablets in April… A recent leak with details and screenshots of BlackBerrys upcoming BB 10.3 operating system, reveals that the company formerly known as RIM has been working on an Intelligent Assistant feature to rival Siri and Google Now.” Read more
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DataArt, a leading custom software development company that builds advanced solutions for select industries, today announced the first results of DataArt ORANGE, a series of research and development projects that aim to automate the tracking of users’ nutrition habits. The DataArt ORANGE program automatically tracks calorie information by scanning photographs of food. DataArt ORANGE technology can currently recognize over 100 foods with an 85% success rate. Read more
Brafton.com recently wrote, “Google, Bing and other search engines are determined to provide users with as much information as possible, even before they’ve left SERPs. But the data has to come from somewhere, and sometimes, crawlers have to look all over the web for the right information. That’s why some companies are forming strategic partnerships to create rich search results for better user experience. For example, Brafton reported on Yelp and Yahoo’s relationship, in which the business review site will provide the search engine with company information, reviews and maps. With this data freely given, rather than scraped from unwitting sites, Yahoo may be able to avoid some of the criticisms Google recently faced. Digital marketer Dan Barker made a name for himself earlier this year when he tweeted at Matt Cutts to point out Google was siphoning information from other pages for its info cards, contrary to the advice Cutts has given.” Read more
Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “Although there has been some argument within the academic community that the Semantic Web ‘never happened,’ it is blatantly clear that Google has adopted its own version of it. Other search and social engines have as well — I wrote an article back in September 2012 discussing how search and social engines are adopting the Semantic Web and semantic search, and gave a timeline of the adoption of semantic search by both the search and social engines. It was very apparent, even then, that the search engines were moving in the direction of becoming answer engines, and that they were increasingly leveraging the Semantic Web and semantic search technology.” Read more
The CHAIN-REDS FP7 project, co-funded by the European Commission, has as a goal building a knowledge base of information, gathered both from dedicated surveys and other web and document sources, for largely more than half of the countries in the world, which it presents to visitors through geographic maps and tables. Earlier this month, its Knowledge Base and Semantic Search Engine for exploring the more than 30 million documents in its Open Access Document Repositories (OADR) and Data Repositories (DR) became available in a smartphone and tablet app, while the results of its Semantic Search Engine also now are ranked according to the January 2014 Ranking Web of Repositories. So, users conducting searches should see results in the order of the highest-ranked repositories.
The project has its roots in using semantic web technologies to correlate the data used to write scientific papers with the documents themselves whenever possible, says Prof. Roberto Barbera, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Catania, as well as with applications that can be used to analyse the information. To drive to these ends, the CHAIN-REDS consortium semantically enriched its repositories and built its search engine on the related Linked Data. Users in search of information can get papers and data and, if applications are available, can be redirected to them on the project’s cloud infrastructure to reproduce and reanalyze the data.
“There is a huge effort in the scientific world about the reproducibility of science,” says Barbera.
Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOM reports, “After a car accident and subsequent coma ended up leaving her in a senior citizen’s home having to relearn how to do everything, Ramona Pierson, co-founder and CEO and Declara, had an epiphany that led to her to found and build a semantic search company. The technology behind Declara helps people discover esoteric and hard-to-find information. In a conversation at Structure Data in New York on why the future of search is semantic, Pierson explained that so far Declara has been used in education, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing industries, where a lack of knowledge transfer between employees could result in death. Places like oil rigs or in cement manufacturing plants, for example.” Read more
According to a new article out of Mobile Marketing and Technology, there has been a breakthrough in the area of image search. The author states, “British company Cortexica has developed the first software in the world that will help consumers to purchase the perfect pair of shoes. Launching on March 19th, ‘FindSimilar™ for Shoes’ takes a photo of any sort of footwear and then analyses it against a database of images. Working like a ‘visual search engine’ it displays a range of shoes with similar characteristics such as shape, colour and design and allows the consumer to choose from a tailored selection. The technology works by mimicking the way the brain processes images and finds similarities.” Read more
NEW YORK, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The New York Genome Center (NYGC) and IBM today announced an initiative to accelerate a new era of genomic medicine with the use of IBM’s Watson cognitive system. IBM and NYGC will test a unique Watson prototype designed specifically for genomic research as a tool to help oncologists deliver more personalized care to cancer patients.
NYGC and its medical partner institutions plan to initially evaluate Watson’s ability to help oncologists develop more personalized care to patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive and malignant brain cancer that kills more than 13,000 people in the U.S. each year. Read more