Semantics in Multimedia

Want a music suggestion? Just ask DJ Twitter.

screen shot of a seevl hack in action via Alexandre Passant.Alexandre Passant, founder of seevl, which we have covered before, has hacked together a cool proof of concept. He describes the project as using “Twitter As A Service,” and it leverages Twitter, YouTube, and the seevl API. As Passant describes, “The result is a twitter bot, running under our @seevl handle, which accepts a few (controlled) natural-language queries and replies with an appropriate track, embedded in a Tweet via a YouTube card.”

He continues, “As it’s all Twitter-based, not only you can send messages, but you can have a conversation with your virtual DJ.”

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Semantic Video’s Banner Year

The BBC made use of semantic video annotation in its coverage of the 2012 Olympics

It’s fair to say that an good idea has finally “arrived” when it has left the realm of the theoretical and has become the foundation of a lot of popular tools, services, and applications.

That is surely the case with Semantic Video.

Gone are the days when internet video could best be described as a meaningless blob of content invisible to search and impossible to annotate and reuse in meaningful ways.

The past year has seen an explosion of practical (and popular) services and applications that are based upon the extraction of meaningful metadata– and often linked data– from video content.

For those of us lucky enough to view it, the BBC wowed us last July with its Olympic Coverage, broadcasting live every event of the Olympics on 24 HD streams, all accessible over the internet, with live, dynamic data and statistics on athletes.  To pull off this feat, the BBC used a custom-designed Dynamic Semantic Publishing platform which included fluid Operations’ Information Workbench to help author, curate and publish  ontology and instance data.

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Smart TVs and the Semantic Web

CORDIS recently reported, “If you have bought a new television lately, the chances are it is a lot smarter than your old one. Smart TVs, also known as connected or hybrid televisions, featuring integrated internet connectivity, currently account for around a third of TV sales in Europe. They are the end point in a huge and rapidly expanding value chain driven by the intensifying convergence of television and the internet. Just as accessing the internet solely from a desktop PC is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, so too is broadcast TV in the traditional sense – along with the complaint that ‘there’s nothing on television!’ With connected TVs, channels become interactive, content can be shared, rated and commented among friends, videos can be streamed and watched at will, and a favourite programme will never be missed.” Read more

Tagging the Visual Web: Visual Media Doesn’t Have To Be Dumb Anymore

Instagram. Tumblr. Pinterest. The web in 2012 is a tremendously visual place, and yet, “visual media still as dumb today as it was 20 years ago,” says Todd Carter, founder and CEO of Tagasauris.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and Tagasauris has put its money on changing the state of things.

Why is dumb visual media a problem, especially at the enterprise-level? Visual media, in its highly un-optimized state, hasn’t been thought of in the same way that companies think about how making other forms of data more meaningful and reasonable can impact their business processes. A computer’s ability to assess image color, pattern and texture isn’t highly useful in the marketplace, and as a result visual media has “just been outside the realm of normal publishing processes, normal workflow processes,” Carter says. Therefore, what so many organizations – big media companies, photo agencies, and so on –  would rightly acknowledge to be their treasure troves of images don’t yield anywhere near the economic value that they can.

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Semantic Technology & Law Enforcement

Law enforcement is turning to semantic technology for improved surveillance tools. G.W. Schulz writes, “Private tech firms have found a new market for their sophisticated software capable of analyzing vast segments of the Internet – local police departments looking for ways to pre-empt the next mass shooting or other headline-grabbing event… 3i-MIND [is] a Swiss company that last year prominently showcased Web surveillance products at a law enforcement conference in San Diego. There, it pitched OpenMIND, developed specifically for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which ‘automatically finds suspicious patterns and behaviors’ across the Internet. It digs not just within social media, but also through blogs, online forums and the ‘deep Web,’ where many chat rooms exist… The company claims it can analyze text ‘according to its semantic meaning’ and show whether ‘C4′ is referring to explosives or something else.” Read more here. Read more

Dynamic Semantic Publishing for Beginners, Part 3

Even as semantic web concepts and tools are underpinning revolutionary changes in the way we discover and consume information, people with even a casual interest in the semantic web have difficulty understanding how and why this is happening.  One of the most exciting application areas for semantic technologies is online publishing, although for thousands of small-to-medium sized publishers, unfamiliar semantic concepts are too intimidating to grasp the relevance of these technologies. This three-part series is part of my own journey to better understand how semantic technologies are changing the landscape for publishers of news and information.  Read Part 2.

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So far we’ve looked at the “cutting edge” of dynamic semantic publishing (BBC Olympics) and we’ve seen what tools large publishers such as the New York Times, Associated Press, and Agence France Press are using to semantically annotate their content.

And we’ve learned how semantic systems help publishers “Do More With Less”- that is, automate a lot of the work organizing content and identifying key concepts, entities, and subjects- and “Do More With More” – combine their content with related linked open data and present it in different contexts.

You may still be asking at this point, “What makes this so novel and cool?  We know that semantic tools save time and resources.  And some people say semantic publishing is about search optimization, especially after the arrival of Google’s Knowledge Graph.  But the implications of semantic publishing are about oh so much more than search.    What semantic systems are really designed for, to use the phrase attributed to Don Turnbull, is “information discovery” and, if semantic standards and tools are widely adopted in the publishing world, this could have huge implications for content and data syndication.

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Expert Schema.org Panel Finalized for #SemTechBiz San Francisco Program

Q: What do Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Yandex, the New York Times, and The Walt Disney Company have in common?

A: schema.org

On June 2, 2011, schema.org was launched with little fanfare, but it quickly received a lot of attention. Now, almost exactly one year later, we have assembled a panel of experts from the organizations listed above to discuss what has happened since and what we have to look forward to as the vocabulary continues to grow and evolve, including up-to-the-minute news and announcements. The panel will take place at the upcoming Semantic Technology and Business Conference in San Francisco.

Moderated by Ivan Herman, the Semantic Web Activity Lead for the World Wide Web Consortium, the panel includes representatives from each of the core search engines involved in schema.org, and two of the largest early implementers: The New York Times and Disney. Among the topics we will discuss will be the value proposition of using schema.org markup, publishing techniques and syntaxes, vocabularies that have been mapped to schema.org, current tools and applications, existing implementations, and a look forward at what is planned and what is needed to encourage adoption and consumption.

Panelists:

photo of Ivan Herman Moderator: Ivan Herman
Semantic Web Activity Lead,
World Wide Web Consortium
Photo of Dan Brickley Dan Brickley
Contractor,
schema.org at Google
Photo of John Giannandrea John Giannandrea
Director Engineering,
Google
Photo of Peter Mika Peter Mika
Senior Researcher,
Yahoo!
Photo of Alexander Shubin Alexander Shubin
Product Manager,
Head of Strategic Direction,
Yandex
Photo of Mike Van Snellenberg Mike Van Snellenberg
Principal Program Manager,
Microsoft/Bing
Photo of Evan Sandhaus Evan Sandhaus
Semantic Technologist,
New York Times Company
Photo of Jeffrey Preston Jeffrey W. Preston
SEO Manager,
Disney Interactive Media Group

These panelists, along with the rest of the more than 120 speakers from SemTechBiz, will be on-hand to answer audience questions and discuss the latest work in Semantic Technologies. You can join the discussion by registering for SemTechBiz – San Francisco today (and save $200 off the onsite price)

 

Web Developers Can Now Easily “Play” with RDFa

Kids playingYesterday, we announced RDFa.info, a new site devoted to helping developers add RDFa (Resource Description Framework-in-attributes) to HTML.

Building on that work, the team behind RDFa.info is announcing today the release of “PLAY,” a live RDFa editor and visualization tool. This release marks a significant step in providing tools for web developers that are easy to use, even for those unaccustomed to working with RDFa.

“Play” is an effort that serves several purposes. It is an authoring environment and markup debugger for RDFa that also serves as a teaching and education tool for Web Developers. As Alex Milowski, one of the core RDFa.info team, said, “It can be used for purposes of experimentation, documentation (e.g. crafting an example that produces certain triples), and testing. If you want to know what markup will produce what kind of properties (triples), this tool is going to be great for understanding how you should be structuring your own data.”

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uma’s SKIN Takes on the World of High Fashion

uma has announced a new instillation of their product, uma SKIN (Semantic Knowledge Information Network). According to a release, the company has installed SKIN “at Bally’s presentation of its Autumn/Winter 2012 men’s collection in Milan, which was unveiled to the press on Sunday, January 15th. The 2.5 meter multi-user multitouch wall, integrated in the Scribe Made to Order showroom concept, presents an interactive World of Bally that enabled users to access custom curated content, as well as Bally’s innovative Scribe Configurator App.” Read more

BioBlitz 2011: A Little Semantics Goes A Long Way

This post was co-authored with Kevin Lynch.

Portrait photos of Christine Connors and Kevin Lynch, TriviumRLGIn October, BioBlitz 2011 took place in Tucson’s Saguaro National Park East and West. Thousands of volunteers worked together to discover the biodiversity of this marvelous place I call home. This blog entry outlines the work we’ve done the last few months, the reasons why BioBlitz matters (they might surprise you), and makes a call to photographers to help us test our crowdsourced image classification process.

The Team – National Geographic, National Park Service, Encyclopedia of Life, National Park Foundation

People from around the country worked hard to make BioBlitz successful. There were – and still are – a lot of moving parts. The Park is over 100 square miles, 70% of which is officially “wilderness,” which means, among other things, no wheels allowed! Read more

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